The Secret Powers of Time
Professor Philip Zimbardo reveals how our individual perspective on time affects our work, health and well-being.
So what we have discovered in 30 years of research is there are six main time zones that people live in: two focus on the past, two on the present, and two on the future.
The people that focus on the past remember the good ole times, successes, happy birthdays, and nostalgia. These are the people who keep the family records, family books and have the family rituals.
There are other people who focus only on regret, only on failure, only on all the things that went wrong; so we call those focuses past positive or past negative.
There are two ways to be present-oriented: the obvious one is to be hedonistic, that you live for pleasure and avoid pain; you seek knowledge, you seek sensation.
There are other people who are present-oriented because the say it doesn’t pay to plan: my life is fated, fated by my religion, fated by my poverty, fated by the conditions that I’m living under.
Most of us are here because we are future-oriented; we have learned to work rather than play, to resist temptation.
But there is another way to be future-oriented. Depending on your religion, life begins after the death of the mortal body. To be future-oriented you have to trust that when you make a decision about the future it’s going to carry up. If you have inflation you don’t put money in the bank because you can’t trust the future.
If there is instability in your family, adults can’t keep their promises to you. The closer you are to the equator the more present orientated you are; the more you’re in an environment that doesn’t change it gives you a sense of sameness rather than change.