The Secret Powers of Time

Tuesday, February 26, 2013



"Many of life's puzzles can be solved by simply understanding our own time perspective and that of others."

I discovered this fascinating RSA video today. According to Professor Zimbardo there are three types of people: past-oriented, present-oriented and future-oriented. 

I don't necessarily agree with all of his statements such as, "The closer you are to the equator the more present-oriented you are." Many Malaysians and Singaporeans are very future-oriented people. In other words, very kiasu

And isn't it highly possible that we can be a combination of two or three of the categories for different aspects of our lives?

Nevertheless, I thought it was an interesting discussion especially because I believe a slower pace of life has many benefits. Watch the video and assess yourself. Are you past-oriented, present-oriented or future-oriented, or a combination of a few? Do you think your nationality or religion has contributed to your perspective of time? We often joke about "Malaysian Standard Time" or "Muslim Standard Time". Could this theory about time perspective explain why some cultures take punctuality more seriously than others?

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