Acta Non Verba. Translated, it means Deeds not Words. Straightforward – sure. Cliche, perhaps… but I’ll argue they’ll stand the test of time. The act of doing over contemplation is the bedrock by which the US Merchant Marine Academy (my alma mater) was founded. As more days tick off the calendar, the more I realize the life isn’t harnessed in the days that pass, but rather the seconds. Each passing moment can be seen as a small battle, ever fighting to gain an edge over you.
At this point you may be thinking “In what world does this have anything to do with volunteering?” Well, let me tell you – it has everything to do with it. For the past two and a half months I have been an active member of the Montana Wilderness Association ( MWA Website). I have gone on outdoor treks, sat on regional board meetings, and helped with sponsored community meets. While all of these were low impact in terms of time, they were all of a volunteer variety, meaning the pay was time. At the end of the day, they were all well spent as they served my endeavors surround photography and service to the community.
At the most recent board meeting there was a lot of banter and information sharing. This got me thinking about time management (circle back to the opening paragraph). Every day you only have so many hours, minutes, and seconds – each more fleeting than the last. The long pauses between thoughts, the lack of moving from task to task – was this really how I wanted to spend my time? Was this a reflection of people caught “wandering” through life, excited about the journey but with no set destination? Maybe this is just thoughts of someone who doesn’t know the full inner workings.
On the other hand, I’m not one to kn
ock networking. Any opportunity you have to improve and build upon your connections can be priceless, and there are plenty of studies and data to back this up. I can attest to this myself as I’ve had opportunities in life because I made the ‘right’ connections or met the ‘right’ people. So, while I may have bee
n feeling unaccomplished at this meeting, I was able to make new connections which may prove useful assets in the future.
In short, being static and wasting time can be detrimental to moving forward towards your goals, but if you utilize down-time properly it can still prove useful. Ultimately, you’ll have to take a step back and
audit the time as I did – breaking it down to whether it was spent in service of your ambitions, or if it was ultimately wasted time which you will never get back. And with that, I leave the choice up to you!
If you made it this far, thanks for reading, I hope you found it entertaining or insightful! Got a question or comment? Lemme know down below and I’ll answer it to the best of my abilities!