Hard pressed for money or time or both? All of us perhaps have been there at least once through the course of our unfortunate lives. Wishing we had a lot more money to take care of all the desires that crop up endlessly. Or at other, perhaps even less privileged occasions wishing instead for some ‘mere’ time. Do not get us wrong but the mere description of time has more to do with it being not a commodity that one can ever purchase. No matter how much steeped you would be in the riches of the world, one still cannot simply buy time. Metaphorically of course you can. But to the extent in what it means most starkly, as in indeed procuring enough time, that is a luxury none in the world still have access to. But hankering after the tangible or intangible wealths of the world when at times we do wish for just some single moments of solitude or even for some chunks of time for our loved ones, we discover with dismay that time is an entity we still have no control over. You might be the most powerful person on the face of the planet, the richest human being to have every existed in all of history and yet, you still would not possess the power and the riches, or the means and the resources to buy even small fragments of this elusive element called time.
Which is why the world perhaps must switch to gauging wealth in monetary terms and dwell instead on time centric measures of what constitutes fortune and riches. Because time has always been known to us to be invaluable, it perhaps makes a lot more sense if we seek to define the value of life in terms of it. For money even though it is worth all its status, is only valuable and can be earned or gained and regained as per the efforts made on it over time. Time on the other hand is precious to inexplicable extents because no matter what you cannot simply avail yourself of the time that has passed, no matter the exuberant fountains of wealth you are willing to parch to earn that luxury.
All this seems and sounds very farcical, something that might bode well for only those intent on giving up the worldly pleasures and pursue instead a life delving deep into the perplexing annals of psychology, if not the wholesome pursuit of spirituality. No matter what, we cannot negate either time or money. And especially in the world of today where commercialism rules every aspect of life, money is indispensable. And yet, despite such extravagance of its worth money has not managed to reverse the order of its standing in the eternal truth of time being money. That though might not be the exact premise upon which a certain concept that recognises this eternal, universal triumph of time over every other thing has come to prevail in today’s world in even more magnificence. But undeniable it is indeed that in the very existence of a phrase as confounding as the one identity of being a ‘time millionaire’ the truest truths of time has once again been established in as prominent assertions of what has always been characterising the very nature of it.
The concept itself might not be therefore very novel as such, in propagating further the extant of a truth all of us have heard of in its certainty. But the endowing upon it a reality far more effective in its glaring presence than what it had managed to be in its timeless, staid ruling through the eons and the ages is what makes this rather recent definiteness in naming and identifying a phenomenon to take note of. Coined by author Nilanjana Roy in a 2016 column for the Financial Times, this whole luxury of being able to identify as a time millionaire might be a pursuit adequately distanced from the mindless marauding of money that has come to be the driving force of human life over the past many years. But in tow of the evocation of this very obvious but avoided still measure of the real value that time spans in all its silent pace, unrushed and steady, but still fleeting and difficult therefore to keep pace with is instead a more ubiquitous human desire. The hum of contentment, a smile of satisfaction and indeed the peace of happiness are the ultimate hankerings that humans chase after either knowingly or unknowingly and the concept of time millionaire, or even billionaire if you so fancy, places these mindlessly mindful motives at the core of its value set, manifesting therefore as an awareness and perhaps an identity more likely to authenticate one’s essence as a real, living human over the merely existing, even when still exuberant ones.
Roy herself explains time millionaires as being people who ‘measure their worth not in terms of financial capital, but according to the seconds, minutes and hours they claw back from employment for leisure and recreation’. A control over time is perhaps what someone successfully distinctive in their time millionaire status would yield in all their newly amassed power, in such measures that they do not of course overrule completely the importance of the riches nor the essence of work in life but works and earns rather in a manner that feels more worthy of the time they put into it. The idea of course is simple and not revolutionary per se either, what with ‘love what you do’ and ‘happiness is power’ maxims guiding forever the quest for what we desire in life. But what makes the recognition of this aspect of the human fancies in a more concrete, definite form, as in according it a specific something nomenclature a potential trailblazer dictating a deviation from the current way of life too pressed with concerns of all things in excess of them is the moment in which it has come into being.
As an era of existence rampantly equating busyness with success and when such concepts of over glorification of work and shying from leisure or even viewing it as a sign of a life less worthy is eating into the souls and spirits of us all, the partial reversal of this dictum of what life should come to be all about ultimately sparks a fresh lease of hope for the human world to recognise instead their innate leanings as soulful beings. In identifying therefore what one wants to gain from their time, as in the goals they wish to achieve or even the wealth they want to extract out of the investment of their time with other factors adding up of course as well or simply in living life they want without feeling the need to fit in with what the world demands out of them in a one way establishment of the real measure and meaning of success, with indeed a certain set baseline to still go on with ‘regular’ life in dignity and comfort, the whole notion of time millionaire is one more rooted in the reality of what looks like an existence of the utopian world. But it rather is a truer exploration of the essence of life that this whole concept and notion in uniqueness is rooted in.
And it perhaps is this fore of life that seems fancied but is in fact the closest to reality that has what has made time millionaires more and more abundantly eking out their own space in the world. Particularly in the current times of the coronavirus pandemic, short pressed as we are for the luxury of health that has taken over life, rendering physical wealth and assets and money less important but not redundant yet, this consciousness of matter being just a chunk of what comprises the essence of being has dawned upon the world in even greater assertion. With the onset of such phenomena as a great resignation that has seen a larger portion of the workforce ditching their jobs when mandated to return to pre COVID modes of functioning or even otherwise, like even in allowance of the work from home privilege to stay put, this realisation of money not being all that matters is gaining more commonplace ground spurring therefore greater significance to adhere to the invaluable millions raked up in units of time. As seconds and minutes and hours making up days and months and years altogether slip away in this uncertainty of what has been the order of the world for quite some time now and will perhaps continue as such without any immediate or definite end in sight, it is the experience of life in all leisure and fulfilment and happiness that has come to assume greater meaning for the most of us.
And yet, in directing considerable portions of their time to pursuits outside of the requirement of professional, or more appropriately money minting ventures, these people who would rather bask in the glory of their time than be blinded by the sharp glare of gilded goodies have still been able to contribute to the increased productivity and profits of the workplace. That itself is a revelation- the fact that one doesn’t need to be as hardwired to work as they once believed it necessary to attain sure success is as potentially groundbreaking a reality that the world has come to make sense of in their desire to evolve as billionaires sitting on the vast multitude of time instead. That itself has expanded the scope for leisure to assert itself in ways more encompassing of its true vibe of being resplendent in the joys of life rather than in the whiling away of its time. And that, we assert again is nothing revolutionary. But in guaranteeing a return to the more genuine ways of how life needs to be and how the lives of the world can indeed make the most of their time in it, it sounds like no less exemplary an idea either.