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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

Time is a construct: shift into a possibility mindset [Wise Wednesdays]

Time needs more love.

We talk about it, plan it, measure it and make judgements about whether we have enough or not.

We think we can control it somehow.

But it wasn’t always like that. Our ancestors looked to the seasons to organise their work and functioned beautifully without knowing exactly what hour of the day it was or which year they were born.

When I was at school, we’d write down both solar and lunar year dates on the blackboard. It turns out about 40 calendars remain in use in the world today. For example, the Berber calendar (I’m half Berber) which celebrates its New Year today – Happy 2972!

Photo: Posing in Berber outfit - Algeria, many moons ago.

With the industrial revolution, factory owners tried to make everything into an efficient process and time was turned into a stick to squeeze more work from everyone and everything = the extraction of value. It’s an unfortunate cultural shift that now fuels the epidemic of burnout and other discontents in organisations and beyond. (For more on this see the New York Times bestseller: 4000 weeks by Oliver Burkeman.)

If your head is spinning or bored these days from the amount of uncertainty that we live in, it may be an opportunity to transform your relationship to time and feel more at ease.

Here are 3 ideas that might help:

1) Time is not an object but a series of opportunities

From a transformational point of view (whether it’s your career, leadership or life), the joy and power of taking decisive action are found in the set of possibilities available to you and engaging with the ones that are aligned with your values. This way, time no longer feels like a yardstick to pressurise yourself into working towards some goal that you ultimately have no control over. Instead, time becomes a field for you to act, experiment or even play in.

2) Drop time to enter flow

If you embrace the first idea, you’ll start to experience more flow. You’ve probably had this experience – where you forget about time and feel totally in sync with what you’re doing. The action just seems to be happening and you forget all about time. As you take a possibility-based approach across the board, you might start to experience flow in simple actions like writing an email or a conversation with the delivery person which transform the quality of your day. You may also notice synchronicities (i.e. meaningful coincidences) that speed things up in delightful and unexpected ways. This will create a very different experience of your daily activities however simple or complex they are.

3) Focus on timeliness

The ancient Greeks had 9 gods of time. The two main ones were Kronos who was ruthless and kept the past and future inextricably bound in a linear fashion i.e. the view that your past determines your future and you could not escape your “fate”. He was eventually overthrown…Kairos on the other hand, was a more playful god. He held the scales of fate in one hand and occasionally tipped them with the other, thus changing “fate”! He represents timeliness i.e. your ability to tune into the field of possibilities around you and make the right choice at the right time. This can transform your “fate” and put your life on a new course instantly.

You may have heard me say: There’s no such thing as time management, it’s choice management.

Hopefully, today’s ideas have expanded positively on this principle.

Have a good week (or series of opportunities!)


p.s. The doors to Presence Power Possibility 2022 will be opening soon. If you’re ready to radically transform your mindset and create the career and life you truly want, get in touch to explore if the programme is right for you. This is a small group coaching experience and mastermind that will

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