"Finding ourselves in this mighty stream of life that carries us onward so precipitately from year to year, our great problem is how to utilize its force in advancing all our interests. Until we form the purpose of making time contribute to the attainment of some definite end, its volume will continue to roll along without any benefit to us. Here is the stream: what do you propose to do with it? What do you wish to accomplish with this life of yours that is slipping so rapidly away? To what end will you devote your time? This is indeed the question of questions, and on the right answering of it turns the prosperity of the future.
There is an industry that may bring to a man no permanent benefit, allowing him to go out of the world as poor as when he entered it. We scorn the Emperor Domitian for forsaking the interests of his great empire to perfect himself in the sport of killing flies; but what can be said of those who forsake the highest and noblest interests that any human can cherish, simply that they may perfect themselves in industries or accomplishments that are of no permanent advantage.
Having determined to put time to some worthy use, our next duty consists in the formation of some plan by which the various interests of life may be so adjusted to one another as to contribute to the realization of our main purpose. How much time shall be given to work; how much to play; how much to study and to social entertainment: how much to works of charity and religion? If you would use the force of the current, you must learn to distribute its energy aright.
A wise and well considered plan prevents the minor affairs of life from encroaching upon its main interest, and serves to economize time itself. Without a plan, trifling matters are apt to monopolize the attention; and at the conclusion of every separate duty or diversion, many valuable moments will be lost in considering what we should do next."
Photo by Birte Ragland