309- Kronos and Kairos

The ancient Greeks had two different words they used to describe time.

There’s Kronos – which describes the chronological passing of time. It is quantitative, universal, and measurable and cannot be practically manipulated or changed. It cannot be controlled and moves inexorably from the past, through the present, and into the future regardless of convenience or desire.

Then, there’s Kairos – which refers to the “right time.” The opportune moment in which the stars align and magic happens. Kairos is qualitative, serendipitous, and opportunistic. We experience it anytime we lose track of time and space, only to look back and wonder: “How did this even happen?”

Society prioritizes Kronos with fixed work hours, meetings, and deliverables with incremental, scheduled, and predictable progress. But Kairos is the land of infinite dreams and possibilities where anything, or nothing at all, can happen.

Both are necessary. The challenge is to make space for both.

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