The concept of Time exists in two variants that are differentiated in the Ancient Greek words for time: Chronos and Kairos. The former refers to chronological or sequential time, as measured by a watch or a calendar, while the latter signifies a proper or opportune time for action, as in the ‘right moment’ to do something, or being in flow. So, while chronos is quantitative, kairos has a qualitative, permanent nature.
When we ask, “What time is it?”, we express the answer in chronological terms. But when we ask, “What is it time for?” the answer brings us closer to the meaning of kairos.
In our society, we tend to measure everything in quantity, in Chronos, like how many hours we worked, how much we worked out, how much time we spent with people we care about, and how many hours we slept.
In contrast, Kairos is more in the direction of the quality of time, of its significance. Was the time well spent in what we used it for? Did we fully engage? Was it good timing for everyone who was part of it? It is less about judging how we spent time in the past than about understanding what is important to us for spending our time in the present moment and looking forward.
In other words, Kairos is the notion of an appropriate time. There is the understanding that something is about to happen; there is an opportunity to be seized, and what we decide will affect our future. Maybe for you this course came at such a Kairos timing?
Get curious this week
Based on these notions of time, take a few minutes to reflect:
- What am I actually spending my time on?
- What are the things that are getting too little time?
- And if those things are important, how can I align better?
When we feel like our inner priorities are not reflected well in how we spend our time in the world, then we are out of alignment and may perceive a sense of being off purpose. Another hint in terms of alignment may be how stressed we are – when we are on purpose and are clear on our priorities, we usually feel less stressed.
- How often do I feel stressed?
- What are major causes? What are additional factors?
- How do I counteract stress? What is not (yet) working in that?
And if you are under the impression that there is a lot to improve in terms of your stress level, can you check in with how on purpose you are and how clear you are on the priorities? Maybe that can shed a bit of light on where to release some of the stress.
Let me know if this is useful. In the mean time, take good care and be well.