The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life
Your every significant choice -- every important decision you make -- is determined by a force operating deep inside your mind: your perspective on time -- your internal, personal time zone. This is the most influential force in your life, yet you are virtually unaware of it. Once you become aware of your personal time zone, you can begin to see and manage your life in exciting new ways. In The Time Paradox, Drs. Zimbardo and Boyd draw on thirty years of pioneering research to reveal, for the first time, how your individual time perspective shapes your life and is shaped by the world around you. Further, they demonstrate that your and every other individual's time zones interact to create national cultures, economics, and personal destinies. You will discover what time zone you live in through Drs. Zimbardo and Boyd's revolutionary tests. Ask yourself: Does the smell of fresh-baked cookies bring you back to your childhood? Do you believe that nothing will ever change in your world? Do you believe that the present encompasses all and the future and past are mere abstractions? Do you wear a watch, balance your checkbook, and make to-do lists -- every day? Do you believe that life on earth is merely preparation for life after death? Do you ruminate over failed relationships? Are you the life of every party -- always late, always laughing, and always broke? These statements are representative of the seven most common ways people relate to time, each of which, in its extreme, creates benefits and pitfalls. The Time Paradox is a practical plan for optimizing your blend of time perspectives so you get the utmost out of every minute in your personal and professional life as well as a fascinating commentary about the power and paradoxes of time in the modern world. No matter your time perspective, you experience these paradoxes. Only by understanding
Somewhat Dull, But Still Useful
By Irfan A. Alvi - December 19, 2008
On the positive side, getting a handle on one's time perspectives isn't easy, but is vital to living well, and this is one of the few books which focuses on that topic. From that standpoint, I certainly benefitted from reading the book, and I suspect that I'll be ruminating about these ideas for quite some time (no pun intended).
To get a sense of your own current time perspectives, I highly recommend doing the online surveys found at www.thetimeparadox.com/surveys; this is quicker and easier than completing the surveys by hand in the book.
But I can give this book only 3 stars because of some rather significant negatives:
- At 319 pages, the book is much too long for the content it offers. At most, it should be half that length. Ironically, the book asks for too much of the reader's time!
- The writing style is somewhat dull. It seems that the writers have wound up in a no man's land between good academic writing and good self-help... read more
"Our ability to reconstruct the past, to interpret the present, and to construct the future gives us the power to be happy"
By Alexander N. - March 9, 2009
The authors, Drs. Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd have done a superb job in describing how people's time perspective can influence their behavior. The writing is clear and is accompanied by relevant research and many stories, descriptions, and histories. Dr. Zimbardo is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University and Dr. Boyd is a former student of Dr. Zimbardo, now working as research manager at Google.
People can have 3 "time perspectives"; they can be past-oriented, present oriented, or future-oriented. Based on their time orientation people behave differently. This conclusion is based on research done during the last few decades by various research scientists including Drs. Zimbardo and Boyd and is helpful because by understanding how people orient to time, we can partially predict their behavior. Thus people's time orientation can complement other models of personality development.
In order to figure out their time perspective, one can take two... read more
By goneswimn - September 7, 2008
I doubt this book will change your life, but it is an interesting read all the same.
The authors discuss the way in which we find ourselves obsessed with time. Interestingly, they point out that 3 of the most common nouns in the English language involve time (namely time, year, and day.....among the other common nouns are person, way, thing, man, world, life, and hand).
Zimbardo and Boyd also discuss the way in which our time orientation guides our choices and overall orientation. He divides people into 7 time-related categories that basically boil down to those who are (1) past oriented (2) present oriented or (3) future oriented. Zimbardo offers up an anecdote involving pre-school aged children, and demonstrates how, even at a young age, our time orientation can guide our behavior. Basically the children are offered either (1) one treat now or (2) two treats later if they practice delayed gratification. When they were interviewed years later, the... read more
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