The power of time

Today’s motivational post is sponsored, so to speak, by Glenfiddich Whisky.  Not genuinely sponsored, but I drew quite a bit of inspiration from them today!  Fraser had a bank holiday today so we made it out to Dufftown and took a tour of the Glenfiddich distillery.  A beautiful distillery with a great story that I’ll tell you all about later in the week, with a message that really struck me: the power of time.  I’m sure all of us have, at one point or another, had a moment of impatience that we just couldn’t shake-I know I have, anyway!  No matter where we might be, there always seems to be a little voice that says “yes, but what next?”  And while this voice is great for keeping us in forward motion, it also tends to skew our focus on the future rather than the present.

Don’t get me wrong, I love thinking about the future (when it doesn’t lead to anxiety about finding employment after graduation, of course!) but all too often I think our impatience can get in the way of truly enjoying where we are now.  Many of my friends know what they want in a year, five, ten, from now but struggle to name something they’re really satisfied with in the moment.  This dissatisfaction can be a powerful motivator and source of improvement in all areas of our lives, but how many times have we dampened our joy at a moment because “________ could be better”?

Too often I’ve found myself wishing I was at the end of a journey-graduating college so I could be a “real person,” losing the extra inch around my waist so I could feel confident, moved out and on my own instead of still coming back to my childhood home-and, when I finally reach my destination, I realise I missed out on so much from being focused on the “what if.”  Since moving to Scotland I’ve begun embracing the present more, but in recent weeks found myself focused and stressed out about the future.  I don’t graduate until September and I already feel tension headaches when I can’t find a job vacancy online; how silly to be so worried when I’m living where I’ve always wanted to be, having the time of my life, right?  So while the Glenfiddich distillery was a wonderful experience from my perspective as whisky lover and traveller, it also came with a powerful reminder to savour each moment of time.

As I mentioned earlier I’ll give you the rundown of Glenfiddich’s history later this week, but a few key points so you see where I’m going with this!  Glenfiddich was founded by William Grant in 1886 in Dufftown, Scotland.  Grant always dreamed of creating his own distillery and eventually decided to build his own.  With the help of his children and a single stonemason he built his distillery, by hand, in just over a year.  Seriously.  Nine pairs of hands-Grant’s, his seven sons, and the stonemason-moved and assembled 750,000 stones to build Glenfiddich distillery in 371 days.  And on Christmas day in 1887, a year later, the first drop of whisky ran from Glenfiddich’s stills.

Did William Grant look to the future?  Absolutely.  Distilling and bottling whisky that takes years to be ready takes patience and a forward perspective.  Their youngest whisky is 12 years old and the oldest ever bottled was 64 years-if that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is.  But I guarantee William Grant (and his children) also lived every moment in the present.  Digging every foundation, moving every stone, redirecting the streams of water…none of this was easy.  I can’t say for sure since he’s not around to confirm, but I’m fairly confident that if we could ask William whether every day was met with progress the answer would be no.  And yet, that didn’t stop him from pressing onward while appreciating where he was.  Only one wall built?  That’s still one more than was there a month ago.  Only 1/3 of the liquid in the still fit for the next whisky-making step?  It still means they’re getting somewhere.

We will always want to be somewhere besides wherever we are at the moment.  Whether it’s wanting to move up in our careers (or switch job paths entirely), wishing we were fitter or smaller (or bigger), or even daydreaming about the beach instead of our windy city.  And don’t get me wrong, having goals is phenomenal-I always look at my aims for a month, year, few years from now to keep pushing myself.  It’s when this forward thinking gets in the way of the “now” that we’re in trouble.  After all, how can you fully experience a moment when you’re halfway to the next?  Continue to look ahead, just like William Grant, but don’t let what you want in the future blind you to where you are now.  Savour each moment in time, be it where you are this minute or where you’ve been-and where you’ll be.  Once that moment’s gone, that’s it.  They say hindsight is 20/20, but keep a focus on the present as well.



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