(An Essay & Other)




(Appraiser's Forum - March 1993 issue)

Time is money. Wait for the right time to attain the desired outcome. Choose the right time for doing things. These things are all commonly talked about when people discuss about "how" to use time. Man must live interacting with time. Life has its ups and downs, as well as rainy days and sunny days for anyone.


Last month, I turned 54 years old. Since my birth, I have been clumsy and on the lazy side, but that did not bring me an unhappy life. I have had a life worth living, blessed with good friends and good fortune.


Over a decade ago, I decided to become independent and work as a real-estate appraiser. My boss said, "It's not going to be easy to work independently away from the company." Of course, his words of advice came out of his concern about my future. But, as I had a slight resentment against his words at that time, I said, "Thanks, but I think I can work it out because I have had "time" work for me up until now." Hearing my words, he said, "You sound very confident, I believe you can do it when you have had "time" work for you." Even though his farewell message was taken in part as flattery, still his words made me happy. It was a fresh discovery for me that he was so impressed with my life's little principle.


When I come to think of it, as I did not have much money or ability, all I had was willpower and time. It can be said that having "time" work for us is not necessarily something we learn from someone else, but since childhood it becomes a way of life.


Having "time" on our side as a way of lifeWhat is it? I will try to convey my experiences of how I came to have know it clearly, as follows:


Since my question deals with having "time" on our side, the first thing to clarify is how one relates to time, which equals to how one uses it. We cannot have "time" work for us when we use it for things that require our immediate attention. Needless to say, when we use our time now for things to come in the future, they will unfold themselves, which in turn will open up prospects, making our future brighter as time goes by, without doubt.


How one uses money can be viewed in the same way. It will be stupid if one donates a huge amount of money to a Deputy Prime Minister of a country, expecting some financial benefits in return. If one wants to financially assist a politician, it is wiser to donate smaller amounts of money to him when he is still a politically unknown figure. The amount one donates is smaller, but it is much more appreciated. Here, time is working for you. Caring for someone in time of need is not just for the person, but it is working for you at the same time.


Drinking Japanese rice wine cold and lessons your parents have taught you have something in common. They both take effect later. I can remember my mother would often say, "You should not live hand to mouth." I think what she meant was that one can not live, buying life's necessities with the money earned that day. My understanding at that time was you have to use your time for the future, which makes it possible to have "time" work for you. My mother and I had similar ideas. When I consider this experience, my thoughts on "time" must have come from my parents.


When talking about people, we often say that so and so has virtue. It sounds as if one does some good for people or the world, he is considered to have virtue. It sounds even better if the person does it unknown to anyone. As time goes by that good deed is spread from somewhere to the entire community. What a perfect example of having "time" work for you!


Having "time" work for you means using time effectively. It is basically different from removing the unreasonable or the impossible, preventing wastefulness, or having inconsistent, unacceptable results in your daily business routines. Increasing efficiency could mean using time effectively, but it is not the same thing as having "time" work for you. My experiences tell me that not taking short cuts, put you closer to having "time" work for you somehow.


Life would be much more boring if you are pre-occupied with small things before your eyes. Seeing what the distant future holds for you makes life much more interesting.

(Translated by Kenji Moriguchi)