Most practical people see time as a fixed, finite, limited resource.  Some visionary people see time as a renewable resource, abundant, flexible and unlimited.

Edison was in the practical category in his application of time and in the visionary category in his creative imagination.  As a result of his blending these two seemingly opposite categories, he developed what we call Edison’s ability to expand time.  At first thought, most would probably say it’s impossible to expand time.  Expanding time means putting greater results in fewer minutes, hours or days.   This is not simple time management.  Time expansion requires the marshalling of resources, people and ideas in creative and new ways.  Edison was a legend for his ability to expand time. 

For example, at one time, he stated that he and his muckers (his closest work associates) would invent something small every six weeks and something big every six months.  I’m not sure that anyone kept close track of his timing, but his final patent total is 1,098 in the 84 years of his life.  That works out to be more than 10 inventions per year every year of his life, including infancy and childhood.  With the benefit of hindsight, it looks like he clearly made his goal.  Who else has achieved such remarkable results?  No one!

Also, during the early stages of World War I, Edison actively helped the US war effort.  He became concerned about the availability of some imported chemicals critical to US war manufacturing.  He determined that his company would create or manufacture the needed materials.  When he said he would be in production in less than six months, doubters told him it would take more than a year.  He did it in three months.  His secret?  Convincing his workers they had to get it done quickly and getting the necessary supplies quickly.  His workers believed him and acted which assured the fulfillment of his promise. 

Even with numerous remarkable achievements in expanding time, Edison often spoke of his frustrations with the limits of time and how he dealt with them. 

“The thing with which I lose patience most is the clock.  Its hands move too fast.”

“The only time I become discouraged is when I think of all the things I would like to do and the little time I have in which to do them.”

“Time is really the only capital that any human being has and the thing that he can least afford to waste or lose…”

“I enjoy working about 18 hours a day.  Besides the short cat naps I take each day, I average about four to five hours of sleep per night.”

“Pretty much everything will come to him who hustles while he waits.”

So which is it?  Is time a finite resource, or is it elastic and renewable?  Can time be expanded?  It all depends upon the world you create and then  live in.  How will you know which one you’ve created?  Only time will tell.

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