Most Chinese are driven by inspiration for better lives and to lesser and seldom examined extent; insecurities, as an economical being in nature, money is the ultimate measuring yardstick of one worthiness in modern China as many of whom struggle to assimilate in one of Asia’s most economically inspiring place in the past few decade where global trade had been favoring China in an unprecedented manner.
However, many had begun to appreciate what’s life is truly all about, feeling still unsatisfied even after achieving their financial goals. Although it takes time to make money but one can’t buy more time with money as the popular Chinese proverb saying. The bottom lines is having the right values of time as an finite resources can’t be accumulated like wealth and one must use the time wisely for self-enlightenment for the benefits of oneself, families and communities.
一寸光阴一寸金，寸金难买寸光阴–. An interval of time is worth an ounce of gold, money cannot buy you time. (idiom) / fig. Time is precious and must be treasured.
As a result, we owe it to ourselves to keep reminding ourselves time actually can be multiplied with the proper investment strategies and learn how to take advantage of the true nature of time and lastly recognizing that the principle of diminishing returns also apply on time as we age along the way.
Passengers; Aurora: “You can’t get so hung up on where you’d rather be, that you forget to make the most of where you are.”
Return on Investment By investing the scare resources of time wisely, the returns could be in money as well as extra free time, the key is to draw the line once fundamental needs had been fulfilled, then the extra time transforms itself into consumable or even extravagant and luxurious nature and had to be properly allocated for spending away. “Use it or lose it”; holidays; recreational activities or even routine exercising; anything that’s are soul and physical enriching and rewarding. Although many still made the common mistakes of using the extra time into creating more wealth as they didn’t know any other better ways; In facts, some even panics and felt uneasy with the extra time on hand lacking of non-monetary higher calling and purposes. Unlike their peers in Frances who fiercely defended their legendary long holidays and shorter workdays and truly distinguish between working and personal lives, many Chinese still thinking and worrying about works while on vacation probably due to the sense of obligation and weak psychological resilience .
“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” – Steve Jobs
Different nature of Time and Wealth Time as a scarce resources had two distinct features of being both productive as well as consumptive, mutually exclusive for our mortal lives; The more time used for productive activities the lesser time left for enjoyment. Making best use of the extra time meaningfully is a lifestyle concept most newly minted middle income Chinese yet to fully comprehend and embrace as time was habitually deployed as a resource to earn income and the problem has been exacerbated in recent years because of catching up with the rest of the world economically, psychologically and socially. Relationship between wealth and general well-being satisfaction have sunk to their worst level in years as Chinese associated wealth with only money alone and unlike wealth, time can’t be accumulated, once gone its gone and nevertheless the extra time one had had distinctive different values at varying stages of one life time as the perspective and physical conditions changes as we grow old, certain matters had to be pursued at certain age for maximum satisfactory results; for example; quality time with young children, taking care of one diet and health…etc…
Oprah Winfrey: “You can have it all. Just not all at once.”
However, many are still struggling to cope in meeting the ever changing inspiration of success by trading in their time for more wealth instead of using the time for rest and recreation for self-actualization like their peers in Europe.
Diminishing returns Majority faces dilemma in deciding to use the time for leisure or income, pushing off until one retires where plenty of extra time are at one’s disposal but many Chinese had overlook the implication of one’s degrading strength and focuses when one ages along the way. Concerns over the diminishing returns of one’s consuming of time dim the allure of putting off rest and recreations until one stopped working in the 60 or 70s and those who had the insights and resources had begun migrating out of China in pursuit of their dream lifestyle in their prime. Ineffective use of free time undermines inspiring Chinese aim of moving up the hierarchy Maslow levels.
The core problem of putting of leisure time until retires is energy; defined in physics as the capacity to work, energy comes from four main wellsprings in human beings: the body, emotions, mind, and spirit. In each, energy can be systematically expanded and regularly renewed by establishing specific rituals—behaviors that are intentionally practiced and precisely scheduled, with the goal of making them unconscious and automatic as quickly as possible.
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”― Jim Carrey
The irony is at the stages where one with the highest level of energy in their primes time of 30 to 50s are the time with minimum access to free time as mostly tied down with financial liability and family commitment. Striking a balance is easier said then done if one didn’t place emphasis on the right set of values. One got to squeeze as much free time as possible and most importantly spend them all during the prime years for maximum returns.
Oscar Wilde: ‘Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. … “Don’t compromise yourself – you’re all you have.”
Summary Values are ultimate deciding factors, wealth consisted more than financial resources; good health, robust and strong networks, strong and resilient mind, fulfilling job, loving and dedicated partners and families, peace of mind, sense of purposes and most importantly; free time. But unlike at the initial stages of the liberation of trade and business where earning a better living ignited the imagination for hundreds of millions of Chinese and stirred up their exuberance on the outlooks of better lives and many had salivated at the thought of having lots of financial gains and neglected in identifying what exactly are the ultimate goals; making money isn’t an end in itself but one of the many means in attaining the purpose of life. Time as a scarce resource must be valued and used wisely, Chinese had come a long way in climbing up the economical ladders on par with their more developed neighbors at least financially, its time to reap the reward and truly enjoy their well deserved lives by learning to expense of their free time on themselves.