Time Perspective and Happiness

In my search for videos to learn more about productivity, I came across this short TED Talk by Philip Zimbardo called “The Psychology of Time.” Philip Zimbardo is the author of the book The Time Paradox, and founder of the Heroic Imagination Project.

An animated version of the Secret Powers of Time at the RSA

And a longer version at the RSA

The Positive Present and the ability to shift

As the above graphic from “Time Perspective” shows, Zimbardo describes the Present time perspective as Hedonism or Fatalism. But when I apply the ideas of time perspective to the Happiness Habits identified by Positive Psychology, the majority have a primary focus on the present, in a positive way.

Primarily Present Happiness Habits:

  • Breathing
  • Meditation
  • In Flow
  • Share
  • Uplift
  • Noticing

Primarily Future: Aspire

Both Present and Future: Exercise. (We exercise in the present, often with a goal for the future.)

Both Present and Past: Gratitude

A mixture of Present, Past, and Future:

  • Emotional awareness
  • Relating

The ability to shift our attention between the different time perspectives has a big impact on happiness and success. Learn more at Past, Present or Future: Which Perspective Dominates You at Psych Scrivener.

What do you think? Let us know at the Daily PlanIt Facebook page.

I enjoy finding great information, combining it in new ways, and packaging it creatively. I'm highly interested in the areas of goal setting, time management, and skills to improve life.

Posted in personal development, productivity
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