Your Time Perspective Can Determine Your Success

I try to keep these posts practical and down-to-earth, but sometimes it’s good to hear from the eggheads more learned among us for a different perspective.  Recently I came across a speech given by psychologist Philip Zombardo  from the TEDTalks series that is worth thinking about.  Here’s the video:

Dr. Zombardo makes makes a very interesting point, backed up by research.  He believes that your “time orientation” determines how successful you will be.

He says that each person’s  orientation is one of these three:

  1. Past oriented – Focused on what was, positives or negatives
  2. Present oriented –  Focused on what is – hedonism / fatalism
  3. Future oriented – Those who anticipate  consequences, costs,  benefits, envision what what will be.  They are goal-oriented and/or  consider life after death.

He then says the most successful people are future oriented because they avoid instant gratification for rewards in the future.  These rewards can be monetary or spiritual.

It makes sense.  I wish he would have explained how we can change our time orientation (if at all), but the how much can you say in 7 minutes?  This is worth more reading.

What do you think?