Five Thoughts About Time

Here’s all I really know (for now) about how time works:

  1.  I cannot move through time any faster than you or anything else on this planet. Your individual conscious experience of the passage of time may be different from mine, and that individual experience is also relative internally. Our own experience of time may speed up or slow down as our engagement with the world changes from moment to moment.

  2. I cannot change the direction I move through time. Either I’m moving from the present moment to the future moment, or I don’t exist. I may remember the past vividly, but I can never actually return there.

  3. We can each expect the same number of minutes and hours to use in a day as everyone else on earth. How we choose to use that daily allotment is completely up to us.

  4. We can never really be sure how much time we have left.

  5. Every choice we make about how to use our daily time and attention is building our own path toward the future.  

You are on your path right now. Even when you are still, you are moving forward. In a way, moving through time isn’t even something we do but something that happens to us, to everyone.

If we imagine the future, it is often described in a metaphor as what’s “just around the corner” or ” just over that hill” or “across the sea.” We agree it is unknown, uncertain at least, but we are all moving toward it at the same speed. We may choose to bring pieces of the past with us, but recognize that it will becomes a burden we must manage.

If you want to hold on to the past, you must figure out how to carry it. If you want to affect your future, you must act in the moment you have now.

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