Does It Even Matter?

Perspective without gratitude. Change without sacrifice. The perfect story is out there and waiting. Our lives are hanging by a string. Does it even matter?

Katie (left), me and Roya (right) in Greenwich Park, London, UK

Life is fragile.

We worry about stupid, inconceivable things we can’t control and ultimately drive ourselves down dangerous paths.

We’re a generation designed to disagree with everything just to have our voices heard.

We aren’t fighting any external or higher forces — we are fighting ourselves.

An argument I postulate for a simple reason.

Does it even matter?

Does what matter? You may ask.

‘It’. This time we spend worrying. In the grand scheme of things, we spent more time worrying and criticising than taking action.

We wait for the perfect opportunity that never arrives and wonder where we lost the time.

We sit, quietly, and wait for the world to present its fruits to us.

We understand the notion of hard work, but struggle to be diligent for lack of results.

We want immediate success.

We yearn respect, and we will go to whatever means necessary to attain such prestige.

Most of us are ordinary. We grow up, learn what is wrong with the world, argue why the system doesn’t work for us, fight and die trying.

We worry about money. We worry about relationships. We worry about opinions.

Opinions.

We crave them and loathe them. They are the single cause of our lack of action. They haunt us. We want to change them but have no idea where to start.

The ‘it’ I referred to earlier is not our lives. It’s the wasted time.

Does it even matter?

Does the wasted time matter?

That depends who you’re asking and how you spent it.

If you ask me, it’s important but doesn’t matter.

Others might disagree (a reference to an earlier point and familiar millennial rhetoric), but there is an important point here.

To matter means to have significance.

I think all time and all life has significance, but to single out wasted time as a singular cause and effect mechanism is absurd.

Defining ‘wasted time’ is challenging enough.

To me, it might look like wasted time. To you, it may be rest or spiritual time.

It’s perspective after all.

Waiting for the stars to align is a good way to kiss goodbye to ambition.

Taking action is more difficult than tying your shoe but not impossible.

If you do the latter without any issue, the next step isn’t too far behind.

One man who took action fought off his inner demons is someone who is making movements on the world stage.

His name is Hussain Manawer.

Spoken word and poetry about depression and his fight.

Mental health, I’ve spoken about it before — it needs coverage, and his story is not only compelling, inspiring and every adjective you could throw at it — it’s also a recognition of hard work meeting talent and talent taking a back seat.

I don’t know his story. No more than anyone else does. But, he represents a beacon of hope for any Londoner scared of their potential and global voice.

Wasted time to him probably seems like a distant memory.

He most likely has a diary full of commitments and has an upcoming event in London too.

Probably if asked, he would humbly say that he still wastes some time — like everyone else. He’s in a position of extreme gratitude and understands his influence.

To him, all time matters. The time with loved ones, in particular.

Like myself and many others, Hussain wants to make the most of the empty time.

The wasted time to me doesn’t matter.

It’s never too late to start.

There’s no reason to wait until tomorrow. But equally, you could wait till the day before you die.

Making an impact, being remembered, having a legacy — it’s all possible.

You can be silent and create a legacy.

There are many means to be remembered for your life.

So no, wasted time or ‘it’ doesn’t matter.

But, what does matter is how you deal with the inner demons that tell you otherwise.

It’s how you rise from adversity, usually self-caused, and live your life.

It’s that journey of discovery, in the public or private eye, which proves the most rewarding.

I, myself, have fought hard to be where I am now and I’m happy. I’m not, but we’ve been down this road before.

Use your wasted time, don’t use your wasted time. Whatever you do, just don’t complain.

We’re in a great position. For you to be reading this now, means you have access to an Internet connection and an electronic device.

You’re doing alright.

You can’t stop the worrying and the stresses — understood.

But, you can change the way you perceive yourself.

Surround yourself with what is essential and never let go.

Does it even matter?

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Danial Naqvi

Joint PhD Candidate Business & Management at Manchester & Melbourne| MSc UCL Science, Technology and Society | BA (Hons) QMUL Human Geography |