Track Talk #2 – Do you have a Best Before or Expire Date?

The first word that popped up as I took my first step onto the tracks was Time.

At some moments, I have a love hate relationship with time.

“I got up early and am still behind!”                                                                     Ruppenthal

It’s either going to fast or not fast enough or there is too much time or not enough of it! Same illusion, different frame.

Then there is that perception of time while sleeping and dreaming. Where time seems to go on forever while dreaming and when you wake up you realize that only 5 minutes have gone by.

The reality is that we all have the same number of given units of measurement, as agreed upon by the “committee of they” that everyone gets:

  • minute (60 seconds)
  • hour (60 minutes, or 3,600 seconds)
  • day (24 hours, or 86,400 seconds)
  • week (7 days, or 604,800 seconds)
  • month (28-31 days, or 2,419,200-2,678.400 seconds)
  • year (about 365.25 days, or about 31,557,600 seconds)

How many of those actual units you get in life is a variable and different for every living creature and organism in this world. Everything has a start date and an expire date.

That’s the only thing we know for sure!

Time is something that the mind has made up to describe that things change and in fact all things change.

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.
— Heraclitus

So, where are you going with all this Rick?

Firstly, we all have a relationship with time and that there is an illusion that we can somehow manage this time and that it is real.

We can’t.

We can manage the perception of time and we can manage the results that we produce in a given amount of time. That’s pretty much it.

We have this thing called the past where some people dwell in and we have this thing called future, where some look forward to. Interesting thing is that they do that process in the “right now.”

However, there was another track of thought that came up over Best Before and Expire Dates related to the past and future.

Two quotes that have stuck with me over a great number of years came up.

Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.                                Benjamin Franklin

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

William Shakespeare, Act 5, Scene 5

I often hear certain phrases, paradigms spoken by some about time. Things like:

  • “I was born in the wrong time period.”
  • “I could have done that when I was younger, but now…”
  • “I am really too old for…”
  • “If I started when I was _____, maybe things would be…”
  • “There is not much time left.”
  • “I am not going to live forever.”
  • “Maybe then but not now.”
  • “It’s too late…”
  • “I should have done that years ago.”

I think you get the picture.

All these and many more phrases that you tell yourself are all self-limiting beliefs that YOU agreed on and are taking action based on that belief.

You see no one stamped a Best Before date on you when you were born, nor did they add an Expire date at that time either. So why are you living your life as if you have one?

With my cancer diagnosis, (I’m good now) I do know that some people do get an expire date and even then it’s not 100% certain if the date is accurate.

I could fill this blog with perfect, inspiring stories of people that time nor age nor expire dates meant anything to them when going for or doing something that was worthwhile for them or others.

Time meant nothing to them other than to measure the changes that were happening. They didn’t use it to hold them back.

The Dash Poem by Linda Ellis, is a great reminder about start and end dates. That life is a journey of a series of moments lived in the NOW and only reflected upon after that person is gone.

Our relationship with time clears up when we realize that there is only one time and that time is NOW.

When you do accept that and willing to experience that truth, your “self-limiting” beliefs about the Best Before or Expire dates will clear up. Why? Because you know then that there is no past or future, only NOW.


albert_einstein_quoteFor all practical purposes, the only time that there is is the present. What ever you bring into being in your life, you will bring into the present or not at all. NOW is NOW, nothing else really ever counts and nothing ever will.

The strange thing about the present is that as soon as you become aware of it, it too is gone. It’s something that can not measured and no way of ever proving that it was there in the first place! It’s gone in no time!

So maybe this present thing is an illusion too, where we are just strutting and fretting upon a stage.

If that is true, then let’s do it with grace, love, understanding and a whole lot of energy!

As they say in one of my favorite shows, Master Chef, “your time starts NOW!”

RICK RUPPENTHAL is a professional Personal and Leadership Transformational Coach and a Certified Change Practitioner. As a retired paramedic of 30 years, Rick has held positions in leadership, education, as a coach and a mentor. Through those experiences, understanding, and adaptability, Rick has dedicated his life to a continual journey of self-discovery, adventure, and guiding others on their own journey of being their best self.

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