Welcome back to the Growing Tree of Life, our weekly exploration of personal growth and well-being.
Trees floating in the air with soil carved around the roots to spell the word GROW.

Issue Number: #072
Date: 11 June 2024
Reading Time: 3 minutes

I Don't Have Much Time Left!

Last week, I realised that.

I knew about the difference between timing and time. But last week it hit home much harder.

Someone said in one video,
"If you know that something is good for you and/or others, every moment you postpone it means a shorter time of enjoying the benefits. And ultimately—if you keep delaying it—you may never see the fruition of that thing."

The constant delaying of things, the idea of "This can wait" or "I'll do it later" suddenly seems to be wrong and even dangerous.

That's why today and in the next newsletter, we'll dive into the concept of time as the most precious resource we have.

In ancient Greece, there were two primary ways of thinking about time: Chronos and Kairos. Chronos is the kind of time you measure—seconds, minutes, hours—all ticking away relentlessly. Kairos, on the other hand, is the right or opportune moment when everything aligns perfectly.

In the big Game of Life, understanding these concepts can profoundly impact how we manage everything: our relationships, the time we spend with others, the things we pursue, the things we refuse, and much more.

The Natural Timing of Life

To better explain what I mean, let’s think about natural events for a moment. A baby is born when the time is right, not necessarily when we wish for it. Similarly, a fruit ripens on its own schedule, not when we get hungry. This is what I call "timing".

We often make plans and set goals, but not everything will happen exactly when we want it to. Some things are within our control, while others are influenced by factors beyond our grasp. The concept of Kairos ("timing") teaches us that some beautiful things in life come to fruition only when all the required conditions align and the time is just right.

The Game of Life and Perception of Time

Life is a bit like a board game. Life has rules—of which we often have no idea. We have goals, tasks, players, resources, and even random events that can affect how life will play out. More about this Game of Life later. Right now, I want you to play a little Q&A with me. It might make you uncomfortable. But if you are honest with yourself, it can change how you think about your life and what you will do with it.


  • Imagine that you have the last 5 minutes of your life left. Really. Right now, there's an announcement that in five minutes, the place you are will be destroyed. You can do nothing about it. You have no time to leave the affected area. You cannot contact anyone. There is nothing you can do. You cannot say goodbye to people who aren't there. What would you do?
  • Now, let's say everything changes. Instead of 5 minutes, you are told that it will take 6 months for you to die. You can do whatever you want during that time. What would you do?
  • Now, the scenario shifts again. Instead of 6 months, you have three years left. How does your perception of time and what you want to do change? What would you do now?
In one group of children and adults, the 5-minute deadline was mostly met with a desire to lay down and wait in peace. The 6-month limit spurred excitement and imagination of all the different things to experience and visit. But when they were given 3 years, people felt disappointed. They felt cheated because they couldn't afford to live out their six-month dreams for that long without going back to work.

So, how did you visualise this in your mind?

Your Time Is a Finite Resource

Time is like water.

We often waste it because we believe we have plenty of it. One day, though, we won’t have the next 24 hours. Charon, the mythical ferryman, will come to take us across to the other side. We don’t know the day nor the hour.

And yet, because we don't think about the end, we often waste a lot of time showing off or competing with others, driven by an internal struggle to prove our worth. Often, we select what we do based not on what is important for us but based on what reaction we want to get from those around us. If that means spending more time at work to maintain our "lifestyle" and less time with people close to us, so be it. After all, we do it for them.

Or do we?

Did You Say, "I don't have time"?

That's nonsense.

You have time. You just decided to spend it differently.
You don't want to spend it on that person or thing.

The Game of Life isn’t about hoarding wealth or things.

It’s about the relationships and connections you form with other players—family, friends, colleagues, and even pets. Think of the players you’ve encountered in your Game of Life.

The first players are (usually) mum and (probably) dad. Then maybe siblings, childhood friends, and pets. As you grow older, the number of players increases—teachers, colleagues, partners—but you also lose some along the way.

Some disappear due to their decisions. Some are abandoned or rejected by you. Others reach the end of their game. Now think about this:

"How would you feel if the current most important player in your life disappeared from your gameboard tonight?

Today’s Tip:

Take some time to do the following exercise about the players in your life.
Reflect and write down answers to these questions:
  • Think of three people who are no longer in your life. Why? For each of those relationships, write down one thing you liked and one thing you hated.
  • Consider your newest relationship. And I don't mean a romantic one. Any kind of relationship that is starting to form. Why do you value it? What draws you to this person?
  • Focus on your most important relationship. This is the most important player in your life right now. Which of the previous answers (both positive and negative) are present in this relationship? How do you think their presence affects the direction and strength of this relationship?
This comparison can reveal where your main relationship is heading and whether you want to make any changes to improve it.

Time is your most precious resource. Recognise its value and cherish your relationships with the people and pets who matter most.

Thank you for reading and see you next Tuesday

What you can do next:

  1. Did you find the content valuable?
    Do you know someone who could benefit from information like this?
    Please forward the email to them.
  2. Have you been forwarded this email?
    Do you like it?

    Here is the link you can use to subscribe.

    The Growing Tree of Life newsletter is sent out every Tuesday.
    Reading time is usually 4 minutes or less.
  3. The Tree of Life Quest website is a resource for you-centred personal development. Check it out.
  4. Do you have questions, comments, suggestions or complaints?
    I would LOVE to hear from you.
    You can reply to this email or use the Contact me Form.
  5. Follow me on X (Twitter) or Facebook for posts about personal growth, life improvement and occasional threads with tips and tools you can use.
    (Note: I don't post on other platforms too much. Yet.)
  6. If you want to unsubscribe from the Growing Tree of Life newsletter, the link is at the bottom of the newsletter.
See you next time.


Share this with your friends.
youtube twitter facebook instagram linkedin email 
Email Marketing Powered by MailPoet