Part 2 of 4
How’s your time flowing this week?
Time is the most challenging liminal dimension to manage. Our concept of time tracked on a calendar was called chronos time by the ancient Greeks.
That feeling of constantly rushing from event to event, meeting to meeting, never being fully present at any place or time is what I call being ruled by “the tyrant of time.” However, if we’re honest, that tyrant is one we’ve enthroned ourselves. We’ve chosen to live in a chronos timeline that is the self-inflicted round of endless obligations as well as the inevitable, infuriating interruptions.
Conversely, think back to a time this week when you were in the flow and lost track of time. That was a moment when you were in what the Greeks called kairos rather than chronos time.
Kairos time, unlike chronos, time, creates those moments of infinite joy—when you’re standing at the altar with your long-pursued beloved, when you birthed your first child, when you know in your heart of hearts that you are doing the very thing you were made for. Those experiences are the liberation of being in kairos time.
I’ve been fortunate to have experienced kairos time when I play Dvorak in a string quartet or when I create a community of business owners in a 3to5 Club or when I help a client conate, i.e. to align purposefulness, intention and action.
I am indebted to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi for his concept of flow—also called “optimal experience.” To learn more about flow, you can access Csikszentmihalyi’s TED talk directly.
Following is a simple tool drawn from my retirement research that you can use today to start recovering your life and start living in kairos time.
“What IS Retirement?”
First, life during the retirement years needs to be free of the stresses we experienced during our working life. Second, the tasks we undertake during these years needs to be meaningful work that benefits other people, or (and this is critical) another person. And, third, it needs to be fun.
–Dr. Armand Nicoli, Harvard psychologist, as quoted in Bob Buford’s Finishing Well, p. 84.
“If that’s what retirement is, how do I begin retiring today?”
- Make a list of everything you love doing
- Make a list of everything you dislike doing/cannot control
- Do more of #1 and less of #2 every day!