Do you remember the future scenarios that we imagined back in the 60’s? These sketches usually showed how new gadgets and robot maids would make our lives so much easier in the 21st century. Well, for the most part, the gadgets have arrived. Dishwashers, microwave ovens, the remote control and cell phones have greatly expanded our “leisure time”. Ironically, many of us are working more hours than ever before. The hardworking 19th century farmer worked from dawn to dusk. Yet, with electricity, a modem, and an internet connection it’s possible to work 24 hours a day. Technology has taken the bottlenecks out of so many industrial processes that running a business three shifts a day is no longer a difficult feat, but rather is expected. Business systems that run “24×7” are demanded by a global economy that buzzes along oblivious to natural cycles, geographic boundaries and holidays.
Our goals and values in the past 30 years seem to have changed dramatically. A cover story in Newsweek magazine recently described how two-income families have become the norm. With both parents on a career track the children have had to make due with “quality time”. The article raises the question of whether the myth of quality time has deprived a whole generation of time spent together as a family. In fact, we no longer desire more leisure time, but rather, we crave more work time. Ads for laptops show people working on the beach–a cellular modem ties them directly to the office. Coupled with or perhaps created by our desire to be more productive is the feeling that time is moving more quickly. The pace of technological change has software executives talking of “internet years”. From their perspective a “year” passes every 52 days. One software firm even holds its “annual meeting” every three months.
As with any trend that ripples through the mass consciousness, you can participate or you can choose a different experience. Alternate perspectives of time are held by the indigenous people of the world. The Mayan people experience time in great cycles (“round time”) in contrast to our linear time perspective. The traditions of these cultures vary widely, but common to all is the recognition that the experience of time is our own creation. We can anxiously watch it slip away or we can center ourselves, quiet our mind and experience a timeless stillness. Remember, we exist outside of the tick-tock, time-driven reality that has become transparent to us. We are creating that reality, not being driven by it.
Do you expend so much energy running in “the rat race” that by the evening all you can do is watch the TV? Feel the rhythm of your life. Are you creating your pace or are you being paced by society’s expectation of what you should be doing? If this were the only life you could live, what would you be doing? Are you creating exactly what you’d like to be experiencing? When was the last time you watched a sunset? Enjoyed the beauty of clouds? Looked for shooting stars? Have you chosen to fill your life with experiences that have meaning to you? Does your daily routine represent the highest expression of the greatest idea you have of you? See the book, ReSurfacing®: Techniques for Exploring Consciousness, for exercises that help you take inventory of your life.
Tony Cecala, Ph.D.
Publisher, The Holistic Networker
©1997, Tony Cecala
About Tony Cecala
Tony is a business strategist. He publishes the Holistic Networker and produces the Wellness Expo. In his spare time he reads about technology and the mind.