In his latest Backside column, Editor-in-Chief Mitchell Scott takes time to write about time.

These days, we are showered with life advice and productivity propositions, and most of it has an urgent, underlying immediacy. Morning routines and nightly rituals. Intermittent fasting apps and 28-day calisthenics challenges. Snippets of stoicism and Buddhism by the bullet point. Hyper-concentrated and condensed. You need to start now. Seize the day. We only have one shot at this life, so you better get after it, max it out, crush every waking second.

It can be an anxious game, watching our lives tick-tock away. Every second that passes is one we never get back. The tragedy of a wasted moment can sow the very seeds of depression itself. We run out of time while speeding to get somewhere, constantly reminded to live in the moment, to embrace the power of now. While the past doesn’t exist and the future hasn’t happened yet, I wonder if our infatuation with being present diminishes our desire to dream big. As age is helping me to understand, focused dedication to something purposeful over years, decades, or even centuries, is a very valuable currency.

Most good things take time. In many cases, the more time you spend on something, the better it will be. Stories are a great example. I started writing a documentary script about the bicycle well over a decade ago. I would hit a wall or get busy, and then I would come back to it. I would think about it in the shower or on a bike ride and then get inspired again. Many times, I thought the project would never see the light of day. Then there would be sprinkles of progress, inspiration, and connection. Then the rush of modern life would have me questioning the process. This is taking too long. I’ve gone too far without results or return.

As the weeks turned into years, the thing that was once a rough idea took shape into a script and finally a movie. The world taught me that time is, in fact, our ally. That beauty sometimes needs great stretches of it, like the development of old-growth trees, ant colonies, massive cathedrals, strong families, and the stars themselves. So, yes, live every moment to the fullest. But don’t forget to embrace the possibility that millions of those moments can somehow be linked together in a thread of purpose. Time can be an engine of balance, understanding, meaning, and beauty. Don’t let it be the one thing you never have enough of.