The Seconds Count

One day consists of 86,400 seconds, each one containing countless options, possibilities and decisions of which only one can emerge…

When we look back on our past relationships, too often we remember the way they ended. The big fight, the difficult breakup, the painful emotions. The final chapter where we part ways often sticks in our minds. But as I sit here today, and reflect on my past relationships, I can’t help but think about the moments where they started.

I’m not talking about the moment we finally decided to call it a ‘relationship’. I’m talking about the moment I, they, or both of us, set in motion the sequence of events that led to all of those amazing experiences we had together. Even as I’m writing this I feel those moments tugging on my heart strings, making me realise just how significant the most insignificant of moments can be.

The moment I finally asked that girl at school to go to the cinema with me (albeit very timidly)…

The moment when I was 18, driving my car with the friend I’d always secretly had a crush, and I took the risk to hold her hand for the first time….

The moment in the elevator where I kissed that girl on the cheek…

The moment I met eyes with that person on he street in the middle of London, prompting me to run after her once she’d walked by…

These small moments have given me some of the greatest experiences of my life so far. And as I sit here writing about them I can’t help but recall how many more of these moments I could have created along the way but didn’t.

How many of these moments did I miss? How many of these moments have you missed in your life? Not that it’s productive to think that way, but it does serve as a reminder for just how rich everyday can be.

If we’ve missed these moments in the past, then chances are we’re still missing them today. And of course it’s much more than just the moment that we miss, it’s the whole new future that that moment would have created had we gone for it.

It’s for this reason I’ve always found time travel so fascinating. Time travel brings with it the simple idea that a single change in behaviour at any given moment can create an entirely different future…in effect, a parallel universe.

But the idea of us actually being able to invent the technology for time travel has never been necessary for me to maintain this fascination. The reason is that for me, time travel already exists, in the present. We get the chance to choose alternate realities in every moment of our lives. Anytime you make the decision to start speaking to the person standing next to you…the moment you decide to go out instead of staying in…the moment you decide to finally express your feelings to someone…the moment you decide to kiss someone on the cheek for no reason at all…these are all moments that have the ability to create a new future.

It blows my mind how much can change from one small moment. People too often forget that the changes in our destination can come from the smallest shifts in behaviour in any given moment. And right now I’m just speaking for our love lives, it’s truly mind blowing to see that this is possible for every other area of our lives too.

If you knew that speaking to the person ordering their coffee next to you would be the beginning of a life spent with your soulmate, would you do it?

Now of course it might not, but the possibility is there. And along with it the possibility of so many other things…a new friend, a lover, a chance to be part of a new circle of people…we could go on. The more relevant question is “what are the chances of any of these realities happening without you taking this moment and using it?”.

It’s hard to get what you want when no one knows you want it. Going about life like that is like walking into a restaurant and leaving it up to the waiter to bring you the thing you fancy most on the menu without telling him.

Life gives us a pretty big menu, which makes it that much more important that in our moments of decision we choose what we want; without succumbing to the fear of rejection, the fear of embarrassment, the fear of failure, or the fear of choosing the wrong thing.

And there are many moments of decision every day.

One day consists of 86,400 seconds, each one containing countless options, possibilities and decisions of which only one can emerge.

Here’s to the infinite variety life has to offer.

Matthew x

Track for the day: Track name –  Life of the Bird (Album – The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos)

Question for today: Which moments will you commit to take more advantage of? Let me know in your comments below.

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58 Replies to “The Seconds Count”

  • Dear Matthew,
    I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful post and the lovely video! I deeply agree with what you are saying about connections and the taking of risks in life. All the best from Hamburg, Germany

  • That’s funny, coz I tried chasing the ‘moment’ and the person was either taken or wasn’t interested lol It’s the fear of rejection that gets to you after you try it!

  • Matthew, I was wondering where you went. Haven’t gotten an email in a while. Glad you’re back! Great vid!! Wish other people thought like this and just had the guts to talk to each other.

  • Wow, this was such an inspiring, beautiful post.

    I decided to make this year my year of change, and I have already done all kinds of things I’d been too scared or lazy or whatever to do, from trying out a new restaurant on a whim, to going on my first date. I have grown so much so quickly, it’s crazy to think about.

    I’m still learning, though, so the moments I’ll commit to take more advantage of are opportunities for exploring careers. I’m 22, but I’ve never had a job before, and since I just graduated in May, I’ve become terrified by the idea of choosing a job I don’t like.

    But this line gave me strength:

    “Life gives us a pretty big menu, which makes it that much more important that in our moments of decision we choose what we want; without succumbing to the fear of rejection, the fear of embarrassment, the fear of failure, or the fear of choosing the wrong thing.”

    I will pursue what I think I want to do without worrying that it’s not right for me. If it isn’t, I’ll choose something else. If I never take that chance, how will I ever know?

    Thank you for all of your encouragement, Matthew.


    1. That was a lovely video thank you for sending it to me. I totally agree with everything you say and up to now I have lived my life a lot like that but i know there have also been missed opportunities because of insecurity or fear but i find that as i am getting older i think more along the lines of just do it if i dont like it i can change to something else because life is too short not to.

  • Very nice post
    But for me the only reason that make me not take the aprtonety is because I’m to shy and I’m not tokative women my word is very less and I want to tall yuo about two gay that I met and give me a sign of attraction but because I don’t know the secret of attraction and im stubed enagh not take an action .
    The first gay was with me in my job at the same department we both go to siminar in Germany .in our job we never talk never to each other.but in the siminar he sit near to me he can sit any where but he set near to me,in the brake he ask me how it my travel ,I said it was good then he talk to me about information I don’t ask about related to our job .all of that and I think that is normal.when I was watching my phone I did not notic that he was looking to me and what I did to my phone.he ask me about some thing related to what I search .the genioues which is me of course just give him short cut answer .the last thing when the siminar take as as group to see the area and take a picture he did not go with the other byes and waited until I finish taking picturesnd he ask me if I need any thin and I answer no thank yuo so he go with the gay.when we back from siminar the only conservation we have is how are yuo
    Know I don’t know how to start conversation with him a gain to see if he still attracted to me what yuo will do if yuo are in my place?

  • The second gay we work at same company but different places so I can not see him.we met first time in course regarding ouer jop he was sit next to me and start conservation with me which place I wark and he look to eye contact and sit the same position that I sit and we talk a bout department that we work with.then I met him a gain in hotel and I say hi how are yuo ,he said he is fine but when we inter the course in the siminar he look to me every 10minites and smile and when a course is finish people get out for lunch he talk to me again but this time he talk a bout my collede in my department and he say that he know them .i asked the cordinator question about my job and I saw him in front if the door eating for me for 10 mints .then I think he left and to be aonest I feel sad because I think he was thinking to give me his number. I was disappointed and go to restaurant for lunch and sit with the my partner and the cordinater after five minit he came to the table where I set and say can I set there neer to me ,he talk to the cordinater and I talk to my partner but he listen to every single word the I talk with my partner and he talk to me.All of that and I do t rilase the secret of attraction when we start to leave he was trying to talk to me. But he don’t. Ecause his friend come and intrupt us so this is good by .i have his ext number and e-mail.but I don’t take an action what can I do? I’m fraud to contact him what is the reason that me contact him with out make my self fell impressment and
    make me feel like that I’m daying to talk to him and I’m fraied because my friend of woman are with me in colleague and I fraied that they make a joke of me and say that she want to talk to him . Note that every time I meet him he start the conservation with me .i know that I write to long story but I’m did err and I don’t know what to do to attract the gays I only wish that I can start a conservation and not shy that much

  • This is how I met my future boyfriend. (this was the 80’s mind you!) By walking up to him in the mall and talking with him. My friend with me was shocked!

    Then a year later after the boyfriend and I broke it off to go to college this is how I met my husband…. One of the girls I was hanging around and talking with said she thought he was cute… I thought, “He’s mine!” He has been mine ever since. :o) I always made sure I was so much fun to be around and ALWAYS a lady of high value. He refereed to me as his uptown girl. We are coming up on 23 years and counting!

    I am blessed to be his wife.

  • Always encouraging and positive, aren’t you Matt? And a romantic soul at heart too. Sigh… one day I’ll meet my guy and he’ll be like that too. Of course with an Aston Martin sports convertible! ;) Seriously though, measuring the seconds in life just puts it all in perspective…

    You only have one life, so live it!

    Thanks again and I love the music too…

  • It is strange that this email came d same day that I had one of these moments. Where meeting a guy cud have changed my future or not but I walked past and did not consider how that 1 second cud determine whether he was right 4 me. I was worrying about wat is happening 2mor and not realising that d 1 second I had cud have changed my 2mor. Thank u 4 opening my eyes and making me realise that yesterday is d past and 2mor is d future but d present is nw :) Will not let that second pass me by again.

  • mmmmmm this was a delight to listen to just the calm I needed Wow GOOD choice in music I think I can trust your judgment now Like Like Like!

  • Following you and reading responses on this site gives me hope that there are so many truly pure people. It helps me believe in myself and others that there is always something good in every moment of life.

    Thank you.

  • Hi Matt. Great post. But, once we take those chances in life and things don’t turn out as you hoped, how do you rebound? Would love to get tips on how to take back control or how to get over someone. Thanks

  • I know when one second becomes whole year. You have to be like a tiger, wait till the right second and the JUMP!!!!! but don’t wait too long..

  • Thank you, for this video ,this is something to think about, how the seconds go by,and for some reasons we dont value them.
    Glad that you are back :).
    Thank you .

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