We spend a significant amount of our day just floating along with life not considering our surroundings. I approach this with my coworkers: “Are we doing good work? More importantly, are we doing the right work?” Most people can answer the first question, we are making value decisions all the time. Very few, often nobody, can answer the second question.

I challenge us to use our senses to engage with our surroundings. Specifically, one major element of life that we all take for granted is time. Time passes whether we want it to or not. We cannot “take extra” time to enjoy the present. It passes. What do you think we are supposed to learn from this?

I suggest that time surrounds us to focus our attention on productivity. I do not mean that every moment must be spent in the pursuit of some initiative or expending effort to achieve some outcome. Rest is good. I do mean that refining our ability to add to the collective human experience in every moment is of penultimate importance.

Whether we are spending time appreciating the work and effort of someone else or expending our own energy and talent to produce an appreciable work, both expand the human experience. It makes the next moment, the next generation, the next century better because of our appreciation.

Time, then, may be one of the most important principles of the universe that we live in. It is a constant and a constant reminder that everything is transitory and what we appreciate and contribute sets the foundation for the next moment.

It’s like our mothers said, “use your time wisely.”