Time is precious

Last night I did something pretty surreal. I watched a special screening of 'The Walk' at the Skywalker Ranch in Marin, California, and it was amazing to watch it surrounded by so many of the people who made it possible (it's a beautiful movie - go and see it!). At the end we were treated to a Q&A with three of the creative leads and, after nobody seemed up to break the question ice, I asked them when they had first started working on the film.

This got me thinking. Say you're a creative in the film industry. You will work for years on a film and throughout the course of your career end up releasing a hand full of films that you will consider your best work. That means you only really have a limited number of opportunities to do something truly incredible. Even the most popular artists are only able to release a few really ground-breaking or brilliant albums within their lifetimes - John Mayer's Continuum, D'Angelo's Voodoo, Mariah Carey's Music Box. That's not to say that there aren't exceptions, but most of us will have a hand-few of defining moments in our lives, things that we are truly proud of, that will outlive us in the here and now.

Over the past few years I've set myself countless goals and projects - music to release, places to tour, people to collaborate with - and as hard as I try to make it all happen it is just a select few things that make it through the grinder that is life. In the words of Robert Burns, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley". It took me nearly 7 months to plan, execute, and release 'The Summer EP', and all along the way I kept wanting the process to go faster. I wanted an April release - that soon became May and then late June. But life is not just our careers and passions - it lies in our relationships, in the little things we need to do each day to stay human and connected.

I've been tempted to think that if we could live forever life would become stagnant. There would be no pressure to do anything because there would always be tomorrow. I've found that the beauty in life lies in those moments that exist only in passing: the glow of mist at dawn, the electricity of a first kiss, toast when it's just crunchy enough. Each moment is an opportunity for us to start creating our masterpieces, and each moment we decide to push it to tomorrow is a moment lost. I'm as guilty as anyone of putting things off for immediate gratification, but I'm working day by day make sure that those defining moments in my life have my fullest attention. Time is precious, so spend it well.

Robert GilliesComment