Relationships With Time: A New Year’s Post

*Seeing the past through a different perspective

Unsure of its origins, I came across a lovely idea in December: evaluating the previous year only through a list of first time experiences. Our first achieved successes, a genre we’ve read for the first time, a country or continent we visited, an art discipline or sport we’ve engaged in, or even a dish we tried for the first time!

Of course, the firsts don’t always have to be positive experiences. You could have been abandoned or fired for the first time. However, these are all important firsts. They change us in the sense that they push us to be different from that day forth. It may be painful or sad but it’s valuable.

What’s in your list of first for 2016?

* Making the most of every day   

I read an interesting article about the effects of reading bad news on Arianna Huffington’s newest venture Thrive Global. The best part of the article was its disclosure of a simple yet effective method of news sharing: the preparation of a news story for CBS during the economic crisis. Whenever they broke bad news they also focused on solutions by bringing on experts and sharing new ideas. And this was what the article focused on.

Instead of programing our brains for a constant state of despair, it’s important to remember that solutions are possible. We can say that the solutions to some problems are not within our grasp. However, is that really so, or have we become too comfortable attaching ourselves to the mass malaise? No one is expecting us to find a solution for the troubles of different countries or the whole world in one go. But what is more valuable than the present to find rational solutions for our individual problems?

* Creating the future

I listened to A.J. Jacobs, who is known for his delightfully peculiar experiments, talk about how he aged himself considerably via Photoshop and hung this photo in a specific spot where he would see it daily. The around 40 year old Jacobs said that the experience of looking at his around 90 year old self was doing him good. Due to this simple method, Jacobs stated that he began to make healthier choices, treat himself with more attention, and became more selective in terms of his priorities.

I know this method doesn’t appeal to everyone. For some of us old age is one of life’s frightening and distant phases. The less we think about it, the greater our inner comfort. (Long live Botox). But perhaps, there are some of us who want to perceive our future though a different angle. To remember that reality is in our own hands and to give old age a chance in order to embrace the ability to shape our future.



Translated by Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

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