For example: Lately, I have been trying to memorize poetry. I am not a huge fan of poetry in general, but memorization helps improve the memory, and the impressed mind is impressive to display, so I decided to dedicate some time toward learning these poems. I am currently working on the poem "Ulysses" by Lord Alfred Tennyson. This is a poem about Odysseus, the Achaean hero from the Trojan war, around whom the story of the Odyssey revolves. The first time I read the poem, it was empty to me. I saw well-written literature that would improve my ability to learn. I now have about three quarters of the poem memorized, and my entire perspective has changed. I now see an emotion-filled masterpiece about the greatest adventurer in Greek mythology. I feel as though Tennyson was good friends with Odysseus, and he spent several hours explaining him to me.
The investment of our time into different things changes us, which poses the question, what do we want to become? We are ultimately in charge of what we are, and this is determined by the way we use our time. Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker, once said that, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." While this is an arguable statement, it is definitely true that we are highly influenced by the people closest to us, and those closest to us will influence us the most. When we spend more time with them, we become more sympathetic toward their plights; we pick up their subtle mannerisms; we become a part of them. If those we spend time with are such a large part of our life, are we giving enough attention to those most important around us? And are those that are around us influencing us the way we want to be influenced? Beyond that, are we influencing those around us positively? In addition to the people we spend time with, the activities in which we engage also make up a large portion of who we are. When we exercise frequently, we are seen as fit individuals. When we devote our weekends to video games, we are seen as gamers. Our values will be adjusted to what we like doing, and what we like seeing in those around us. In the poem I mentioned about, there is a section that reads, "I am a part of all that I have met;/ Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough/ Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades/ For ever and for ever when I move Everything we do makes us who we are, and entices us to continue in the same direction.
The way we spend our time has the power to change ourselves, our surroundings, and, ultimately, the world. Our growth comes from the things we dedicate our time to. We need to spend our time with the people and things that really matter, or sacrifice our potential to become more than we are.