What’s this ‘time’ thing all about?
For a concept we rely on so heavily throughout our daily lives, we hardly know much about it. Dictating the order in which we wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, exercise, and socialize with friends, time grasps a great deal of how we operate our daily lives.
In English, when we say that something is in front of us, we often mean that it’s in the future, while something which is behind us is in the past. Seemingly so natural to us, we rarely stop to think about it in any other way. Time has the perspective as standing still as we walk through it in a linear perspective, much like an arrow is released from a quiver.
An Ancient Greece model of time, however, was quite different.
The Greeks held a rather different view of time. Under a Greek concept of time, the future was behind them, and hence, not visible yet while the past is already in front of them, thus now visible (at least to some extent depending on how far into the past). A person is thus facing in the opposite direction of the flow of time; standing still will time passes over their body from behind, time quite literally passing over them into plain unobstructed view. (R.L. Trask and Bill Mayblin).
What does this change in perspective mean?
We often talk about what it means to have “great vision.” It can be taken under a literal sense as something you spot coming your way in the distance, like an observer on a mole hill scouting the terrain. This can lead to getting caught up in trying to ‘choose’ and forecast different directions for where to go in life.
What major should I choose, how do I know what career to pursue, should I really be wearing this Hawaiian shirt today? These questions can often feel overwhelming and very stressful. You don’t want to choose the wrong one! How do you decide what path to choose?
The Greek perspective has a lot of things to teach us for shifting this perspective, particularly with how mistakes are made (and avoided). Instead of thinking of vision as something under a literal sense of seeing things before they occur, try associating vision with a strong relation with the voice of your gut feelings.
What this shift can do
Judging yourself for making mistakes would be like a baby judging itself for falling when first learning how to walk. They should have seen that fall coming! These “falls”, so to speak, end up compiling into great learning lessons that translate into great abilities. Something that initially felt like a huge mistake turns out to be a defining moment in your lifes course.
Intuition, like any muscle or relationship, is bettered with the frequency it is used. Tapping into this source as your compass can help avoid the mentality of preventing screw ups from happening, and instead listening to your inner gut to make the right calls. Either the gut decision plays out exactly as planned, or it seemingly back fires for the time being. You walk about with a newly learned lesson, an improved clarity of your intuition, as well as the confidence to trust in yourself when it comes to making the big decisions in life. A win-win.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.”
– Steve Jobs
The world is a forest of illusions and happenstances waiting to be discovered and drawn into connections. You will have random occurances that feel like happen-chance. Hours that seem to be your worst end up become the best learning experiences when viewed down the line. Rely less on your eyes, and more on your gut; see less, feel more. Your heart will be your guide.