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:
- In Flow
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
Tal Ben Shahar’s model of happiness describes four different states of mind related to time perspectives. These four states correspond with those (in parentheses) described by Vishen Lakhiani in his book, “The Code of the Extraordinary Mind.”
The ability to delay gratification and shift our attention between the different time perspectives has a big impact on happiness and success. What do you think? Let us know at the Daily PlanIt Facebook page.