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On the Time In Our Lives -- A Practical Philosophy of Time (And Philosocom's Subcategory on Time)

Updated: May 12

A blue-colored british city in the afternoon.

(The Subcategory Directory on Time:


Why Life is Both Long and Short

In regards to the time we have in our lives, it can be a crushing burden for one person and a gentle swift for another. It's just like a weight can feel light or heavy depending on our strength, life can be perceived as both long and short. It all hinges on what we use as a point of comparison. Additionally, it also depends on our goals. While finding someone to marry is both a desired and attainable feat for many people their 20's and in my country, my aim in my 20's is to almost fully work on Philosocom, and make sure all my articles are renovated to top-standard.

As such, the value of my time and the average Israeli's time is different, based on the actions we choose to partake to for our goals. While it is easier for many to find someone to marry to, philosophizing can generally be a stressful and exhausting task that can last for a lifetime. After all, it isn't a task that exactly ends easily.

As such, the time of our lives is a tool, whose value of length depends on the interplay between who we are and our work towards fulfilling our hopes and dreams in life. And yes, time is but a measurement of a slowly-diminishing resource. One that is to be utilized for planning and execution.

Now, compare it to existing for 70-100 years without purpose or action. Be a klumnik, a deadbeat, and life stretches out before us as if we'd be immortals. However, stack our average lifespan against the eons the Earth has existed, and suddenly our lifetime shrinks to mere moments.

Therefore, life can be both a grand journey and a fleeting moment, all at once. It's all a matter of relativity, one that doesn't contradict itself at all. There's no objective, universal measurement to definitively say if life is long or short. It's a reflection of the comparisons we choose to make.

We, and the time we have as living beings, can be utilized or is already utilized in theory. To quote Mr. John Duran:

A picture of a quote.

Wasting or Using Time?

The same principle of relativity applies to how we perceive time spent – wasted or productively used. There's no scientific yardstick, no objective criteria to definitively say if someone is excessively spending away their hours or maximizing their potential. It all boils down to the standards we set for ourselves, and whether or not they serve our (or someone else's) goals.

If unrestrained fun is our guiding principle, then spending weekends engrossed in video games might feel like a perfectly well-spent life. Do we value strength above all else? Then a life structured around training and discipline could be considered a life well-lived. Perhaps altruism is the cornerstone of our values? Then dedicating ourselves to the betterment of others becomes the measure of a life well spent.

To say that one activity is necessarily and universally more useful than another, contradicts the meaning behind "useful". For the value of usefulness is conditional for any aim or goal. The same goes for necessity. Things and beings are necessary only where there is no other way to achieve what we look to attain. If there are other ways, then we can still be useful despite our lack of necessity.

By the same token, waste is when something is either used or produced without any usefulness for attaining our goals. Thus, even the consumption of low-quality entertainment is useful when it helps us attain the goal of having a good time. At the same time it's also useless when we have other things we either want or need to do, like studying for a test. The exact opposite of productivity isn't waste but counter-productivity, where the time we waste only hinder us from our goals.

Ultimately, the power of choice of our own goals lies with the individual. Our lives are, by their very nature, our own personal property, unless we choose to lend them to a cause greater than ourselves. This inherent ownership means that personal preferences are the best compass to navigate how we spend our days. Since each person has their own unique set of values, the decision of how to measure "time well spent" falls squarely on their shoulders and on their ambitions.

For me, life isn't a fleeting experience but a vast expanse of potential waiting to be industrialized. A life well lived, in my view, is one dedicated to the constant development of both mind and body through intellectual and physical pursuits. As I expend my lifetime through long walks, I allow myself to better hone my intellect, to study reality and write my findings to my readership.

Crafting Your Own Measure

Like Nietzsche, the philosopher who highlighted self-development, might advise, the key to optimizing your time lies in crafting your own set of principles for how you spend it. This philosophy isn't just about evaluating your hours. It's about aligning your actions with your deepest desires and propelling yourself towards your ambitions.

Instead of succumbing to the tyranny of external pressures or societal expectations, you can become the architect of your time.

By consciously defining what constitutes a "well-spent" life for you, you empower yourself to make choices that resonate with your core values, to create the life you truly want to live in, a life you can love. It's a journey of self-discovery, one where you define what matters most and use that knowledge to navigate the vast expanse of time you've been given.

Only when you have a clear idea of the life you want to create, and of the person you want to become, you can make the best use of the invaluable resource that is your time.

I already know what to do with my time. Even war or loss can't stop me.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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