What is time?
This is a question that no one, not even Einstein, has ever been able to answer conclusively. Some scientists argue that time might be the 4th dimension. Don’t worry; I am not going to inundate you with all the scientific jargon and fierce debates that have surrounded this all time question. The one thing that everyone can agree on however, is that time exists in three phases: the past, the present and the future.
All living things experience the present and it is within the present state that we can experience time. This means that we are conscious that something has changed every instant which makes us know that the time has changed. No one to my knowledge has ever travelled back or forward in time and come back with proof of it. So I can venture to say that time is the one thing that we all have in common.
The obvious conclusion then is that all instances of the past will influence the present which will consequently influence the future. Everything we do now with every instance of time is our chance to influence the future. It is the one thing that’s within our disposal for us to make a choice on. The space between thoughts and actions taken is the choices that we make that will influence time.
Deepak Chopra refers to this space as the gap between the stimulus (what has happened to you) and the reaction (what you will do about it) as the opportunity to make a critical choice. I like to associate this gap that gives us the choice as an opportunity to influence your future. We spend so much time- I know because I am a worrier– worrying about the past and the future and neglect the present, the now. When I lost my job last year, I spent so much time worrying about the uncertain future that I almost neglected taking care of the present so that I could influence my future. It is only because I have an amazing husband and family that I snapped out of it so that I could start working on improving my skills in order to put out a better improved version of me.
You can stretch the present by making careful and conscious decisions that will impact your life positively. Say for example you lose your job you have the choice to spend your present worrying, stressing and maybe even indulging in reckless behavior to deal with the change or you could use the present time to prepare for the opportunities that might arise. I am not saying you cannot vent. But have a stop time. Find a way to snap out of it so that you can focus your attention to influencing your present which in turn will change your future.
The bottom line is that, what you do with your time is the only thing that you have the power to influence. Everything else is a direct result of the choice you make in that moment between the thought you have and the action you take. Looking back into the past helps us in that it gives us experiences to look back on that can shape the choices we make which in turn will influence the future that we will experience.
In that instant, when you make a conscious choice to influence your time you will be experiencing the question that has dodged the greatest minds of all time.
- How past experiences inform future choices (eurekalert.org)
- From Here To Eternity (merovee.wordpress.com)
- The totalitarian “I” (psychologytoday.com)
- How past experiences inform future choices (esciencenews.com)
- Deepak Chopra Speaks to The Business Owners Council (inc.com)
- Thinking about Tomorrow to Guide you Today (psychologytoday.com)