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The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali, 1931

The clock is definitely my biggest enemy and I’m quite sure that it’s one of your enemies as well. I mean, think about an average working day of yours; how much of what you do on a day is directed by the clock? The alarm clock wakes us up in the morning telling us it’s time to get ready for work/school. The clock tells us at which time we need to be somewhere, making us feel either rushed because we are ‘too late’ or calm because we’re ‘on time’. It tells us how long we need to work, when it’s time to take a break or eat something, when it’s time to relax at home and when it’s time to sleep. It sometimes seems like a prison-like routine, leading us through our lives until all of the sudden we’re old and think: Why didn’t I make time to do

WATCH OUT. DON’T LET IT GET TOO LATE IN YOUR LIFE TO DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO.

Time rules our life. If your life is not directed by the clock, then congratulations, you’re one of the lucky few who’s able to escape from the trap of the clock. Sadly, most of us can’t escape. Most of us are forced to let the clock decide what activity is next on our schedule. We have our planners and daily schedules always at hand, thinking ‘is it that late already!’.

Isn’t there anything we can do to take back control over time? Well there’s this secret escape route that can get even the busiest people away from the terror of time.

In the ancient Greek, there were two words for what we now call ‘time’: Chronos and Kairos. Chronos was the ever ticking clock, creating structure and order in the universe. Kairos, on the contrary, was the interruption of the continuity of Chronos, creating space (and time) for the perfect moment. A Kairos moment could be playing games peacefully with the whole family during an afternoon that seems endless, or making a painting in your art studio when you don’t notice how many hours you spend there, or lying in the sun during the first warm spring day, when all of your obligations seem to melt because of that long-expected sun.

CHRONOS IS THE DREAD OF DAILY LIFE, KAIROS IS THE MAGIC THAT BREAKS IT UP.
DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE, BECAUSE ONLY THEN THE PERFECT MOMENT CAN EXIST.

Chronos is our routine of going through our days in the same way, day after day, year after year. Kairos alters our normal (and chronological) experience of time: it creates a moment in which we forget about the clock but act from a feeling of ‘flow’ instead. Another special thing about Kairos is that for the ancient Greeks it not only meant the perfect moment, but also the right moment. It’s the moment of truth, revelation or a creative breakthrough. This is exactly why the Greeks regarded Kairos superior to Chronos; it gave the opportunity of revolutionary change and discovery.

IT’S SO HEALTHY TO FORGET ABOUT THE CLOCK SOMETIMES.

So what can we, busy and slightly Chronos addicted people, learn from this ancient view upon time? Well, we can learn that time isn’t merely a continuous and objective thing. And because it has this two-sided identity, we can learn to use time to our advantage. Yes, you have your planner with all of your activities scheduled at certain hours of the day but that doesn’t mean you have to become a slave to that schedule.

CREATIVE IDEAS ALMOST NEVER AROUSE DURING YOUR ROUTINE.
BIG DISCOVERIES ARE OFTEN MADE AT UNEXPECTED TIMES.
THE PENNY NEVER DROPS AT THE MOMENT YOU WANT IT TO DROP, BUT IT WILL DROP, AT THE RIGHT MOMENT.

Don’t forget to take time to breathe. Don’t be too stressed about the clock.
The perfect moment is won’t happen if you keep staring at the clock. The right moment of revelation won’t happen if you’re only focused at what needs to be done according to your schedule. Rather be focused on what truly needs to be done, according to your heart.
Sit back and take control over time. You have all the time you need.

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So, how much of your life is directed by Chronos? Are you willing to give more of your structured life out of hands to the flow of Kairos?

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