Sunday night Stoic: There is a limit to the time assigned you

Meditations 2.4:

“Remember how long you’ve been putting this off, how many extensions the gods gave you, and you didn’t use them. At some point you have to recognize what world it is that you belong to; what power rules it and from what source you spring; that there is a limit to the time assigned you, and if you don’t use it to free yourself it will be gone and will never return.”

It is final exams week for college students, and I still remember procrastinating like it was my job when I was a student facing a tough upcoming test.

My dorm room was never cleaner than when I had a deadline looming.

It was fear. The fear of doing hard things, the fear of failing, the fear of being exposed as the fallible mortal I am.

Procrastination is giving in to the resistance.

Most of us spend our lives putting off the big questions and the excrutiatingly hard tasks of making sense of our existence and doing something meaningful with our time on the planet.

So, tomorrow morning is going to be a “big rocks” morning for me. (If you don’t put the big rocks—the most significant priorities of your life—in the jar first, they’ll never get in. The trivial inessentials—the sand and gravel—will fill up your life and leave no room for what matters most.)

I’m going to use a jumbo sized blank page (or maybe even the jumbo whiteboard in my office) and some markers and start mapping what’s important and what needs to be done.

What is most important? Who is most important? What really matters that I have been putting off?

Damn the resistance, just start.

You don’t know when your time will be up.