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The way different people think about time is important to consider because by seeing life from a past, present, or future perspective could affect your life in a variety of ways. While past-oriented people see life as something involved with tradition, future thinkers are always planning for upcoming events, even if they’re years away. Those who live in the present are those who live for the moment, but might not be thinking about what’s happened or what’s coming. These perspectives are vital to understand because depending on who you’re talking to or where they’re from, they could have a completely different mindset on what constitutes life. The world’s so diverse, therefore, understanding each other’s way of thinking could be beneficial to every day life.

Personally, I consider myself a future or forward thinker, since growing up outside of NYC, I’ve always been driven to go to school and succeed. While the past is always apart of me and I do think about it a lot, much of the time, I’m thinking about how what I’m doing will affect my future life. However, those who live in the past can either think about it negatively or positively, using that lens to view their life with happiness, depression, or somewhere in between. As well, living in the moment, or the present has its advantages and disadvantages, as you’re savoring life, yet also not thinking ahead or looking back at your past mistakes to change your future actions.

What really interests me about this topic is how the part of the country or the part of the world you come from can have an affect on how you view time. In the video below, “The Secret Powers of Time,” Philip Zimbardo makes some interesting points on this topic. For example, Northern and Southern Italy typically have completely different perceptions on time – those who live in Northern Italy are more forward thinking in that there’s more industry and change going on in that part of the country, while Southern Italy is more about tradition and keeping the past alive. They’re almost two separate worlds in the way they view life, as life is much faster in the North than it is in the South. That reminds me of how different it is from going to college in the Midwest and coming home to NY – it’s a complete culture shock because life is so much faster in the Northeast than it is only a few states away. Where you live definitely has an impact on where you live, as your surroundings can change how you see the world. The thing worth remembering: Keeping a forward thinking attitude, while remembering the past and living in the moment sounds like the most balanced way to live, as well as the smartest way to keep a healthy outlook on life. Time is in the essence, so remember to breathe!

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