A Healthy Relationship with Time

What is a long time? What is a short time? What is too much time? What is not enough time?

The answers to these questions are largely dictated by their context. In terms of human biology, 100 years is a long time. After all, most of us do not live 100 years – though the number of centenarians is growing.

In societal terms, 100 years, depending on your point of view, might be a lot of time. Certainly, we have seen massive technological change and consequent impact on society over the course of a century. We have grown in many senses, yet our philosophical underpinnings may not have changed as much as we think. So, in this sense, some folks might not think 100 years is a lot of time or 1000 years for that matter.

As far as succeeding at something we set out to do, accomplishing our goals, a healthy relationship with time is absolutely essential. If we cannot reconcile – with some reasonable accuracy and margin for error – how long it will take to achieve a goal, we are all too likely to quit before we achieve what we set out to accomplish.

Unfortunately, in an age of instant communication, too many of us have unhealthy relationships with time. Add to this the fact that Hollywood has taught us, wittingly or unwittingly, through compressed tales played out over 90 to 120 minutes that things happen far faster than in actuality. This affects our expectations of how long it should take to achieve our goals.

Whether it is dieting to lose weight, exercising to improve our health and fitness, working toward a degree at university, learning a new skill on the job, things tend to take longer than we might otherwise think. If we can reconcile this with the importance that achieving a goal holds, we can develop a healthier relationship with time.

A healthier relationship with time leads to an increase in our frustration tolerance. The more frustration we can encounter and keep moving towards our goals the more successful we can become at consistently achieving our goals. This gives us the chance to transcend the all too human experience of clinging to a status quo of self-imposed limitations. Owing to this we are able to live our lives by design, rather than default.

This all begins with a healthy relationship with time.

Image courtesy of [fotographic1980] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at CYInterview.com. For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

You can reach me with your questions and comments at Jay@CYinterview.com Like today’s column? Check back frequently.