The Vampires Come at Four in the Morning

As I age, I find myself thinking more about mortality, life, and how I spend my time. Not sure why, but it might be a consequence of growing old. After all, I’m reaching forty soon, the right age to depart this world. Before any ailments and debilitating illnesses have a chance to set in these old bones.

Gone are the days of sleeping through weekends. I’m usually up before lunchtime, sometimes even early morning. I force myself out of bed to get shit done.

Now that forty is not so far away, I find myself reconsidering that deadline. Especially since I’m now in the best shape of my life, thanks to gymming thrice a week. Although each session only lasts about an hour, I find the time constraint helpful in keeping me focused and not wasting it.

Yet, efficiency eludes me at times. I still find myself daydreaming and procrastinating when I should be working instead. I also spend late nights working, mostly to catch up on work that I didn’t do during the day but also because I enjoy working at night. It’s quieter and nobody bothers me.

When I want to eat at a restaurant but there’s a queue that’s too long? I skip it and go eat elsewhere instead. I often find that most restaurants aren’t worth the wait. There’s always an alternative place around the corner with no queue.

I don’t mind eating meals alone these days either. I don’t have to wait for people to finish, plus I get to read and eat at the same time without being a jerk.

“Time is a man-made construct.” The units we use to measure it are all man-made. We defined the seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, and so on to represent one of the fundamental aspects of the universe. Time goes on regardless of what we do, we’re just passengers along for the ride.

For simplicity’s sake, we won’t take into account how long a person has been alive or how long they have left. Regardless of wealth, status, or background, everyone is given the same twenty-four hours a day. Time is the great equalizer. How everyone spends their time? That is the difference maker.

Whether we want to use our time to achieve our goals, help others, or waste away – it’s all up to us. There are no rules for what we should do with our time. However, it is the major limiting factor to what an individual can accomplish.

Entrepreneurs have great ideas they want to execute. But usually, they don’t have the time to do everything by themselves. Technically, they could learn all the required skills to be a one-man show, but it would take an unreasonable amount of time to see meaningful results.

Since they have the money to spare, they hire other people who already have those skills to help them with their goals. These employees can spend their time doing things they already know. Collectively, they make up a company and together, they work to carry out the founder’s vision.

Just like our passions and interests, it is up to us to allocate time to pursue them. There’s no such thing as not enough time. If can feel that way, but in the end it’s a choice. Like, I look at all these talented kids on YouTube making music and other content I wish I could produce and feel jealous.

But then I tell myself I shouldn’t. I have the same amount of time as that kid, maybe even more. If I wanted to be as good as them, I would need to put the hours into practicing the right techniques and so on. To think otherwise would be to complain for the sake of complaining.

Since I don’t do that, I obviously don’t feel like it’s important enough for me to make the necessary sacrifices. And that’s what life is all about – choices. The sacrifices we make. Like tasks we have to accomplish at work, we decide what to prioritize.

Which ones do we want to accomplish sooner? What can we cut to make the task easier? What’s non-scope?

If we really want something, we’d be willing to give up a lot of things for it. That’s just how humans function. If we’re desperate enough, nothing’s going to stop us. But most of the time, we’re comfortable enough to not want to make a change or put in any effort. So we end up stuck and not progressing.

Of course, there’s no reason to rush anything – unless you set yourself a deadline you wish to stick to. We can still accomplish our dreams of getting better at things with incremental steps. Break down those large monumental dreams into smaller chunks. When your goals become bite-sized, they’re easier to complete.

Be patient and take your time but be consistent. Thirty minutes a week improving a skill is better than spending zero minutes. Over time, the thirty minutes add up to hours. The next thing you know, you’ve spent more hours improving yourself than whining about it.

Ultimately, life is defined by our choices and sacrifices, shaping our experiences and achievements through how we use our time. You don’t have to succeed immediately, but you need to start somewhere and keep going. A little bit each time will eventually get to where you want to be.