A few minutes ago I walked out of one of my all time favorite lectures. The professor was my Dad, and the discussion was about time relativity. The class is positive psychology and we discuss the methods for living a happy life. The class is small, with 15 students who all have remarkably similar in interests. (Almost everyone skis). We sit in a circle and my Dad, Professor Conover teaches us about his findings from his research and work as a therapist. My Dad is one of the most consistently happy people I know and so this is a good class for him to teach. We discussed two mindsets: Abundance, and scarcity. With abundance you’re able to give, you’re able to be thorough, and you’re able to be present. With scarcity you’re looking for shortcuts, always in a hurry, and looking for the next thing, missing out on the current moment. This can be related to all things, but today our conversation focused on time.
Tick Tock, Tick Tock.
The culture has us running in circles, always trying to do the next thing. We tell ourselves I’ll be happy when… or I’ll be able to relax when… and what we find is that when the “when” shows up we’re not suddenly happy, and we can’t suddenly relax.
Because the time is now. We’re living right now. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, right now. Wise Master Oogway powerfully taught this principle when he said, “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.“
When we’re really able to slow down enough to live in the current moment, right now, time opens up to us. We begin to have an abundance of time. One of my best friends Ryan Dixon mentioned how he can remember times when he’s had an assignment due at midnight and he starts it at 10 and ends up wasting 30 of the minutes by making calculations about how fast he’s going and how much time he has left. He wasn’t focused on doing the assignment, he was focused on doing the assignment ON TIME. He entered a scarcity mindset. Had he started the assignment a week before it was due, he probably could have done it more effectively and efficiently and spent less time on it overall, and produced better content.
The idea of an Abundance of time I think can be taught well by this principle: No one has time to do service, but everyone has time to watch the next episode of their favorite TV show. No one has time to date someone, until they meet someone they really like. No one has time to sleep, until they get sick.
The point is that time is relative. Alert Einstein said, “Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.” Whether or not time is actually changing doesn’t matter, our perception to it is. That’s why our mindset towards time is so important to cultivate success.
So how does the relate to exploring the mountains? To racing? Believe you have enough. And then you will. Believe you have enough time to catch the group in front of you. Believe you have enough strength to keep pushing. Believe your equipment is excellent. And it will be.
Abundance is dependent on our focus, and on our thoughts.
Think abundantly, and abundance you’ll have.
Abundantly have it.