Our lives, by adulthood, are most adequately described as tangled messes of responsibility, each obligation pulling us in a million different ways. We have people who depend on us, and some sort of job to pay the bills and put food on the table. Money is often how people value success; to a certain degree they are right. In the absence of any money, it is difficult to be “successful” due to the fact that to survive, you rely completely on the generosity of others for proper nourishment and shelter. As I’m sure you know (or maybe you don’t agree with me), money is not the most valuable asset a person can have. There are many things that are more valuable than money, among them is happiness. However, undoubtedly, the most important thing a person can possess is time.

The possession of time comes in all forms and sizes. Time is on an infinite scale and therefore is a term that describes our relative situations. Whether it’s sitting in traffic for an extra hour, paying extra for a pass that allows you to skip lines at an amusement park, or listening to a story from your grandmother about the Great Depression, time is constantly relevant in our day to day lives. Everything we do demands our time; from punching a clock at work to singing a lullaby to our children. You can’t escape the ceaseless nature of time.

For those of you who are still caught up about my saying money isn’t the most valuable thing a person can have, I’m speaking to you. Think about the way you make money. Whatever you are doing, whether you are a salary employee at a bank, or a craftsmen, or a brick layer, you are spending time to accomplish the goals of your trade. No matter what your industry is, you are being paid for the time you spend working with your specialized skills to accomplish these goals. Some people get paid more than others for the time they put in based on their industry, qualifications, and quality of work. Therefore, the availability and allotment of time is more valuable than the money itself, simply because the use of our time is how we accrue money. Kapeesh?

Every single day, and every minute of that day, we as human beings are forced to make choices. These choices are often so minuscule in nature that we don’t realize how formative they are to our lives. More often than not, these decisions deal with time. It could be the decision to wake up slightly later to sleep in. Or it may be the decision to skip the gym one night because you’re tired. The possibilities are endless. However, it is important to realize that all of these choices add up. Each little bit of time we substitute and trade around in our demanding lives is invaluable. We only get so much time to accomplish the things we want to accomplish. Even to achieve happiness, often regarded as the most important thing you can attain, time is required. It takes time to find passions in life, fall in love, plan amazing trips around the world, and to grow old. Everything requires time.

This being the case, it is important to weigh this knowledge into the day to day decisions we make. Is this the best use of our time? Could we be using this time to better ourselves and set ourselves up for a more prosperous, happier tomorrow? This sort of mindset is easier to attain in theory than in practice. Life throws consistent curveballs at us and fatigue is often the most dominant factor in the equation. I’m not saying that every second of our lives should be spent in hell bent productivity. I’m saying that minimizing the lost time, the most valuable asset we have, is the most beneficial way to change your life for the better or to continue going down a prosperous path.

We all grow up, but our dreams don’t disappear. Our imaginations are constrained by the difficulties of the real world, but deep inside we are still the same kids we once were, with the simple idea that we can become whatever we want to be. We all know that these dreams could still come true but for some reason we squash them down, painting them as impossibilities. We use our daily existence as an excuse for complacency and to avoid risks at all costs. When we were kids, it was easy to dream, but impossible to understand the cost to attain these dreams. And the answer is: you guessed it, the cost is time. You can accomplish most things given the right motivation and most importantly, time. Prioritizing your time is the most important self-improvement skill you can improve on a day to day basis. Even the most efficient human being alive could prioritize their time better; it’s a never ending battle. You can always, always be better.

With that I leave you on an inspirational note; anything is possible. Use every bit of time you have to better yourself, and use it for the important things in life. Spend time with your loved ones, chasing your passions, and chipping away at your dreams. Prioritize your time by appreciating the value of seemingly insignificant, daily decisions. When your time runs out, money won’t save you. Make the most of it!

And yes, this picture is the Rock of Cashel, a beautiful castle in Ireland that is truly a testament of time.