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How to Develop the Proper Time Perspective

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The power of your actions is limited to right now. That's not to say that the future and the past are not important (although for different reasons than you might expect); it's just that the present is the only place where you can DO anything. Let me illustrate the power of the present moment for just a second. Sometimes, in illustrations, it's useful to close your eyes and imagine.

The Hourglass is the Classic Presentation of Time

Instead of having you close your eyes (since you can't read with your eyes closed), I've added a picture of an hourglass, so, save your visualization for this next part. Now, here's the interactive part - imagine that the top half of the hourglass represents the Future, the middle represents the Present moment, and the bottom represents the Past. I know it's really not hard to imagine this since this is what an hourglass does, but bear with me this is going somewhere.

The middle of the hourglass narrows (we could also say concentrates its power) to allow just a few grains of sand to pass through at any given moment. The same is true with our lives. We convert the future to the past through the decisions that we make right now. In fact, only the decisions made in the present moment have any impact on our results. Don't get me wrong, the past and the future are critical in evaluating which decisions to make; however, an improper focus on either will prevent you from achieving your true purpose in life. Coincidentally, this is one of the reasons that day planners and organizers are more effective at managing time than history books and weather forecasts.

How Incorrect Time Perspectives Affect You

Too Focused on the Past. Many people try to hold on to the decisions they have made in the past. This usually takes the form of unforgiveness. Not forgiving others can result in bitterness, while not forgiving ourselves can result in feelings of guilt. When we put too much focus on the past decisions, circumstances, or results of our lives, then the present moment gets clogged or constricted. Imagine that the grains of sand get wet and sticky causing them to clump together.

By constricting the flow of decisions by holding onto feelings of bitterness or guilt, we can limit our future. Remember, the only way for the future to happen in the optimum way is for the sands to pass through the narrow opening. Focusing on the past can keep us from reaching our goals.You could say that guilt is rooted in condemnation. Either you condemn someone else or you condemn yourself. Which a simple dictionary search will show that condemnation is a result of judging yourself or others.

Either way, these feelings can cause serious health problems. The connection of health to forgiveness is illustrated when Jesus said to the paralytic in Luke 5:23 "Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'?" Jesus in this example (and others) clearly removed judgment, which removed the affects of the condemnation. Modern medical literature says that at least 75% of all doctors' visits are stress related. Just Google "stress 75% doctor" and see tons of references to this fact. Many reference say as much as 85% are stress related. In any case, it's safe to say that stress is not good for your health. One major cause of stress is guilt. Another is anxiety, which leads us to the other incorrect time perspective.

Too Focused on the Future. Focusing on the future in a negative way usually results in anxiety or worry. Both of these feelings are rooted in fear. Sometimes, people have such a fear of failure that they are unable to take action on anything. This causes the granules of sand seem to enlarge to such a degree that they are unable to fit through the narrow opening. In other cases, people have a fear of success (you may not believe it but it's true). People will avoid attempting to try something new because of the change that will occur in their lives if they are successful. In both of these cases, a person's true vision and dreams will elude them.

Anxiety and worry will cause a person to either become angry or to withdraw. Both of these reactions will stop a person from moving forward. The first step in overcoming worry is to become aware that you are doing it. As odd as it sounds, people often live in denial.

To help you get the proper perspective on time and focus on the present moment consider getting a day planner and organizer designed to help you make better decisions today!
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