Where is your future?
I don’t mean, is your future in finance, or owning your own business, or getting your boss’s job. I don’t mean a little villa in Spain, or retiring at 45, I mean where is it? In relationship to you, now.
Point to it.
So where did you point?
Now try pointing to your past.
Did they both have a direction? A direction that was pretty obvious to you?
Isn’t that weird? We appear to have a sense of time – past and future – in relation to our physicality.
You may well have pointed in front of you to indicate your future. Maybe straight in front, maybe a little to one side, the right perhaps, as if pointing to one o’clock with midday straight ahead?
If you did point ahead of you, it’s possible you then pointed behind you to indicate your past.
Alternatively, your directional map may have been very different … you may have pointed to your right to indicate your future, sort of 2, 2:30 or 3 pm if straight ahead were 12 noon. Your past may then be to the left, maybe between 9 and 10:30? The past and future may be connected in a curve or a straight line.
Maybe you have another configuration?
Check out where ‘now’ is.
Right in front of your eyes, inside your head, where you’re standing?
Welcome to your timeline. An ‘unconscious’ orientation to your past, present and future. A guide to how you process time.
If your future is in front and past behind, you could be called ‘in time’; that is you are standing in your timeline as it were, journeying towards your future. Sometimes ‘in time’ people can be very focused on their next goal – they can after all ‘see’ it in front of them. They may not be inclined to make longer term plans or lists though, as those are ‘obscured’ by shorter term futures. They may use language such as ‘looking back’ or even wave their hand over their shoulder when talking about the past, thereby signalling the way they hold time.
If your future is to the right and past to the left, you could be described as ‘through time’. You can see through time, a little like a diary planner, with recent past events just a little to the left and older memories further left, whilst your near future is a little to the right of centre, with longer term goals further to your right. Sometimes ‘through time’ people are good planners and good timekeepers – they can see their timeline laid out like an open calendar.
Be curious about your orientation to time. Be curious about the hand or body movements and any language that suggests your orientation to time. Be curious about the patterns of other people too.
Time and the way you unconsciously hold your relationship to it has more impact on your life than you may ever have realised.