Essentially everything in the world can be either purchased, or earned, given as a gift, scrounged, taken by force, scammed or just found on the road. Everything but Time.

No one could ever buy a mere second even for the last breath. Emperors and kings were willing to shower everyone who could prolong their days, with treasures. But none of the rulers obtained immortality.

In his final days Genghis Khan promised half of his empire to healers and shamans. But not even his whole empire, along with the entire world’s wealth could buy him an extension of time.

Alexander the Great, whose time was up at the early age of thirty two, had the whole world literally at his feet. On his death bed, Alexander revealed his ultimate wishes:

“I want the best doctors to carry my coffin to demonstrate that, in the face of death, even the best doctors in the world have no power to heal. I want the road to be covered with my treasure so that everybody sees that material wealth acquired on earth, stays on earth. I want my hands to swing in the wind, so that people understand that we come to this world empty-handed and we leave this world empty-handed after the most precious treasure of all is exhausted, and that is TIME”

Benjamin Franklin said, “Time is money”, and for generations we repeat it and take it as the absolute truth. Time really is money – in a way. It is the most valuable and the most stable currency. Time is what we pay for our existence. It is like a revolving “use it or lose it” fund. Every day we have exactly 86400 seconds deposited into our account. If we spent less and wasted the rest, there are no rollover minutes. They are gone. But the next day we get another 86400. So we live like spoiled rich heirs with unlimited trust funds. We are killing time, procrastinating, postponing until some day in the future. Tomorrow is another day… If tomorrow comes.  Future is just an illusion. A possibility, which may or may not be granted. The only real time is Now. It’s Now when we need to decide how to cash out our time.

Time is money. But there is no defined value of a 1-minute bill, or 1-month bill, or 10-years bill. What is the price of time? How much are we wasting?

If you want to know the price of a year, ask a student who missed a year of school.

If you want to know the price of a month, ask a mother whose child was born a month prematurely.

If you want to know the price of a week, ask an editor-in-chief of a weekly newspaper.

If you want to know the price of a day, ask a family of a terminally ill.

If you want to know the price of an hour, ask lovers, waiting for a date.

If you want to know the price of a minute, ask a passenger who missed his flight.

If you want to know the price of a second, ask a driver who avoided a deadly crash.

If you want to know the price of a fraction of a second, ask an athlete who won silver at Olympics.

Time is money – we repeat for generations. But often we take it too literally, trying to squeeze more cash out of every minute of work, trying to spend every minute to generate the green paper bills. And often, only when we are low on minutes, we realize that what we considered the smartest investment of time was a total loss. We leave empty-handed.

The past is already a history; the future is still a mystery. The only time we have is Now. Use it or lose it.