I have always wanted an hourglass as a piece of decoration. The first clear memory I have of one was from watching the movie The Mummy and The Mummy Returns in the early 2000s, and I liked how it represented time. Also, it contained the sands of the deserts so that made it a bit unique. While I cannot essentially capture why I liked the hourglass at that time, I grew up wanting to have a really nice one. So, just recently, I found one while shopping, and I picked it up without hesitation.
For the first few days, I would look at it, observe it, flip it from one side to the other, watch the time when the material starts to pour, and watch the time when it stops pouring. In all of my observations, I must say that I had a rare type of inspiration on how life and success works based on that hourglass. It is why this blogpost exists today, so let’s get to it.
Our microwave-generation has sold the fast and furious gospel to each one of us. We think everything must come the way we want it at the time we want it. While God might have life happen that way for us sometimes, in most cases, we come to understand that life operates on a whole different level. This different level is not privy to most of us, so we go on and on searching for what’s not lost. Here’s where the hourglass comes in:
- A Foundation
From days of observing my new piece of decoration, I learned that one must lay a foundation in order to succeed in anything. (PS: as you read, do not limit your definition of success to material success. These keys apply to EVERYTHING that one can succeed in – your walk with God, your career, relationships – name it!). Moving on, when you flip the glass, it begins to pour into the other side until there becomes a type of even distribution. This is done before all of the contained material pours into the other side.
This explains foundation. Before building your faith in God, a career, a family, etc. what are you “laying at the bottom?” Are you aiming for a million-dollar business empire by cheating your hundred-dollar business partners now? The foundation matters. A faulty foundation may not be obvious when you begin to build, but if you continue to build on it, it only takes a period of time to collapse all on its own.
- 2. Time is of the essence
The hourglass has always represented time. With the advent of clocks and what not however, it is no longer used so much to determine the time, or to time a particular task. But here’s what it teaches about time: the hourglass is on time, yet it takes its own time. Again, when you flip it, you realize you can’t rush it. It pours at its own pace, but if you are patient, you also realize that its own pace is just fine. If it pours too fast or at a go, it loses its identity as an hourglass.
Talmbout the microwave generation! Do not overburden yourself with the false stories that “time is running out on you.” If at all anyone should determine that, let it be you. When I say that, I mean, be your own competition. Ask yourself over and again, “what should I be doing now?” Pray to God for direction. Expand on your knowledge by reading and remember to always take life one step at a time. The classic American soap opera Days of Our Lives says, “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.” Be conscious of time in your actions and decisions, but don’t be pressured by it.
- 3. Find A Niche
When you flip the hourglass, the contained material begins by pouring into the other aside from the center. That is, it pours first to a centered position, then it spreads to other parts of the glass. In essence, it finds focus, then it expands.
When you apply this to life, it explains that we should always have a niche. Our questions should be: What is that thing I can do? What is that thing I want to achieve? What is my strong point? Where is my focus? What is my “why’?” For example, I can blog. In a world of many things, blogging is a niche, but it is not specific enough for an individual. So, you have the Fashion Blog, Lifestyle Blog, Inspirational Blog, Parenting Blog etc. Now, while that explains a “center”, how about expanding? While the niche is Inspirational Blogging for example, the next question becomes: what are ways in which I will inspire? So, it creates a pie chart of Posts on Life as a Christian, Poems that inspire etc. With the goal in mind, even different genres can speak the same message. But most importantly, there needs to be a “why.”
- 4. A Means to an End
The two sides of an hourglass are connected by a narrow neck. I call it a “channel.” The hourglass understands that it cannot move from Point A to Point B without a channel. As narrow as the neck is, it is probably the most important feature of this piece. It makes it possible for time to count, for foundations to be laid, and for a niche to be carved.
Channels come in different labels and boxes: destiny helpers, life partners, sponsors, mentors, teachers, friends, family, etc. What this tells you and me is that there is always a means to an end. You will always need the right people. However, just like the two sides of the glass, are you ready for the channel? Those who said success happens when preparation meets opportunity are right. While you gear yourself up, identify your channels and “make use” of them.
- 5. Do not ignore the frame
When I observed the material pour from one side to the other, I saw how the “stones” would bounce off on the glass from the inside. As they poured in their numbers from the narrow neck, they expressed themselves on the other side by trying to find a place, but also understood that they needed to be contained to an extent. Some stones fell right in the center, and as I just said, some bounced off on the glass.
I understood that as “boundaries.” To achieve success in anything, there are places where we need to draw the line. As a believer for example, there are things which should no longer catch your fancy, simply because you want to succeed as a believing believer. While you are allowed to think outside the box and demolish the box if you will, you need to do that within your frame. These could be your values, principles for living, or your shan’t and won’t. Never ignore them.
- 6. It is okay to start over
When one of my nephews shows up in my room, he enjoys flipping the hourglass over and again. It’s nerve racking sometimes, because his hands keep going “whoosh” and “whoosh” (quite some exercise for those wrists). Sometimes, he waits till all of the stones are on the other side, then he flips it again. Other times, he flips it right when the stones are halfway through. But I realized that no matter how much he flips the hourglass, the piece just kinda brushes it off to start again (yes it’s non-living, I know lol).
Anyway, I saved this for last because nobody likes to hear it. We seem to encounter life like that sometimes. You may not have a major setback where you have to press the reset button on your whole life. It may just be having to start something afresh (maybe an MS Word document that got wiped off your screen after 10,000 words…eek!), or it may actually be the reset button. Whatever it is, the time to start over is not the time to sulk. It may not come off as easy, but with tenacity, your desired result will eventually come through.
Okay, if you read up to this point, THANK YOU, ESÉ, DALU, NA GODE, GRACIAS, MERCI BEAUCOUP…give my polyglot self a round of applause!!! But in all sincerity, thank you! You should expect this switch with posts from now on. They will be longer, but they will be once a week. Sometimes, I might take a break and you’ll probably have two in a month, but there will be at least one every month.
So, the new schedule is Saturdays at 4AM EST and 9AM WAT. If I go over that time, please grant me an hour’s grace. If it doesn’t come after one hour, it’s probably not coming for the week. Thank you again!
Also, please let me know if this post was a blessing (comment section, email, messages, comment section, comment section)! XOXO.
With Overflowing Love,