You know the saying: “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.” Quite clever, whoever coined it. Bit of an annoying naff-orism now.

Sometimes though we need to do it the other way round. We need to live our T-shirts.

Let me explain.

I sometimes wear a T-shirt which says “TIME NOT CASH”. I like it.

T-shirts are a nice way of preaching, of pushing the dogma you have chosen to live by. It’s ramming your beliefs down people’s throats, but in a gentle, non-confrontational, stylish way.

“Money is not the most important thing in the world,” I am saying to the world. “But time is. Time is gold to me. Give me more time to do good stuff, to have fun, to laugh with friends, to read good books, to ride my bike. And, above all, do not waste my time doing unimportant stuff.”

But, in rare lucid moments of frustration, I realise that this is not what I’m actually doing with my life.

I am one of the too-few lucky people in the world who earns enough money to pay my taxes, buy enough food, and have a roof over my head. If you have seen me in my T-shirt you would therefore think I have everything I could want. And I do. So why then do I catch myself sitting through sunset after sunset at my desk, working, working, working to earn more and more money?

It is very easy to wear very idealistic T-shirts, to have wonderful statements of intent emblazoned across our hearts. But it is far more difficult to actually live by these mantras, to pursue an uncluttered life focused on the stuff that really counts.

So I’m going to finish this post now. I’m going to make myself a cup of tea. I’m going to go and sit outside under a tree and stare at the clouds for ten minutes. And if I catch myself fretting that that is ten minutes wasted, ten minutes of work down the drain, then I’m going to punch myself!

Time not cash. It’s not a t-shirt slogan. It’s a manifesto for life.

What does it say on your t-shirt?