Watching a documentary on zdf.info last week on “what is time” it all of a sudden dawned on me why I personally always need a sports goal / event with a firm date when I want to reach it planned out in the future. I always realized that many alternative futures of/for myself exist – but I can only live 1 reality.
The documentary explained the linear perception of time – going from (disappearance of) the past, from (the only thing we really observe – our “reality”) the present, to (what does not exist yet) the future (Einstein said that time is just an illusion but a very persistent one..)
Reasoning linear like this – our past experience would be used in our present and would influence our future.
But there is a big other way of reasoning when it comes to time. The deal is that having a firm goal set in the future acts as a real time machine. The planned event and goal in the future is influencing and shaping the present. A “back to the future” effect.
When I put my name down for a powerlifting contest 6 month out – my planning and actions in the present will start to fall in line with what I need to do to be successful at that event. The more firm plan the event and make it “unmovable” in my mind – the more my present will be shaped by the future. Priorities and day planning slot given to training, eating, sleeping vs social events, work , study are all influenced by my desired image of the future.
When I miss out on a sticking to my training routine - I know I am slipping into a parallel time universe and future – in which I will not be able to reach my objectives. I imagine that for every training I miss I will lift 2,5 kg less on the platform - and will not break my PRs I.e. realizing that my present influences my future. And I need to kick my own ass to get back on the desired time-future-track.
Over the 40 decades of training I experience the post event phases - when I do not have a set goal - as having “nothing to live/train for” and effectively do not know how to shape my present. And I am mostly just drifting around.
I call this way of thinking “forced luck” – by having clear set objectives in the future it becomes obvious what present activities are to be embraced and which ones not. What feel like “lucky choices” are really driven by the time machine effect – the future taking control over the present.
Once you become aware of this time machine effect through sports – it obvious applies to all other aspects of life – social, family, work, study … you can set a balanced set of objectives across all of them and execute towards them in the present - a huge life lesson on how to shape the life that you want to.
When I coach at ATC Sports I always ask athletes “what is your goal” – now you know why I ask this question. I want to know how you deal with your personal time machine.