Innovation and the Illusion of Time
Sorry, I don’t have time, I only have 15 minutes to finish this! How many times we said something like this? Who said I only have 15 minutes? Yes, I know there are things like deadlines which really do matter. Its things like deadlines which give us an illusion that time is fixed, That we only have so much of it, and it we are at one point in time now and are moving towards another point of time which comes later.
One of my Senseis challenged me quite firmly on this recently. If the past is really in the past, Why can we so quickly revisit it? We can go back to a moment in time and feel the pain of that moment as if it is happening right now. The smells, the sounds, everything, it is real and it is now. In this way, It actually is not the past, but it is the present, It is where we are at this moment in time in every way. Sensei said that when we bring the past to the present in this way, and then live it differently, act differently, resolve the conflict and create a new outcome, we change the past and break the Karma.
The same is true of the future. I am a dreamer. I see all kinds of visions of the future, Sometimes it is a product for a client, Sometimes it is something I wish to create, but in every way they are in this moment. Just as we can move to the past and it becomes the present, we can move to the future and be completely present in the vision. This is where innovation and reality collide.
Because our minds struggle with the illusion of time, it is incredibly painful for us to see a vision of the future and not have it a reality yet. We see this with diet and exercise. We see an image of the selves we want to be, of the habits we want to have, and we expected it to happen immediately. This is normal, we have brought the future to the present! But when it does not happen immediately, we give up and we see it as impossible.
“Time is the illusion we use for permission to give up on our dreams.”
The disconnect for our minds is seeing the present as a fixed point. I am often asked how I am able to create so much? Where do my ideas come from? Where does my drive come from? People close to me have said that I am relentless and determined. Quite simply, when I have a vision, I see it as existing in this moment. I see the future as the past of the present. It’s not that I hold onto a goal or vision, it is that for me the vision is already a reality. In other words, it exists once it is visualized, and the rest are the details which occur in order for others to also be able to see it. I’m not driven and relentless, I am living with a vision that to me as a reality, but that others can’t yet see.
Just as the past can be brought into the present through our recollection, the future can be brought into the present by our vision. Many times I have heard someone say”That’s a great idea, but it will never happen.” This statement is surrendering to the illusion of time. There is no expiration date on a dream, yet we set a deadline, feel that we are lucky if it happens sooner, and a failure it happens later. Time is the illusion we use for permission to give up on our dreams.
Hold onto your ideas, hold onto your dreams, hold on to the plans for your business, hold on the plans for your life. Speak about them is if they have occurred already. Act as if they have occurred already. In doing so, you will find your day-to-day actions suddenly bring this into reality faster than you can imagine.