My friend is literally like a “library”.
He is 10 years older than me, currently working in education industry, reading books all the time (read over 3,000+ books) and writing book reviews occasionally.
Project about “time”
Three years ago, we were working on a project about “time”.
Time is the only resource that we all equally have, but our focus in our lives is often controlled by random information, what we own, what people around us say — and we seldomly think “what is time.”
Time has been around us since the earth formed. The ancient Greek has two words for time: Chronos (χρόνος) and Kairos (καιρός).
Chronos / χρόνος
Chronos is the limited “time” that we all have equally — 24 hours per day. Chronos is the quantitative time that we consume, that moves on toward our death and something that we cannot take it back.
We know that Chronos is linear, objective and what people in most of metropolitan cities put value on.
But we also know that someone keeps track on time all the time and has a clear objectives of what to achieve in his/her life, but cannot grasp a right chance at the right timing.
Kairos / καιρός
Kairos is what we call “timing” nowadays. Kairos is the qualitative time that we cannot measure, but the opportunity that suddenly passes.
Kairos is trancsendence.
Some historical people knew how to find “kairos” moment.
A Chinese essayist, Ouyang Xiu (欧陽修) born in 1007 mentioned “三上”, three places where he can come up with great ideas. The three places are 厠上 (in bathroom), 枕上 (on pillow) and 馬上 (on horseback).
An Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein born in 1889 also mentioned that “the key to thinking is the three Bs : Bed, Bath and Bus.”
After I met the friend, I started reading various books around cognitive psychology and behavioral economics instead of business books.
Business books give us linear path to success, but never tell us how to capture the right timing. These books tell us how to evaluate valuation based on quantitative analysis and the decision making process, but at the same time I feel majority of decision making process does not rely on quantitative analysis or rewards, but often relies on timing and bias.
Equality of time
What I liked about researching about “time” is that
- time does not discriminate anyone, and it’s fair to everyone
- no one can buy time — this will foster equality among people
- no supremacy, and no economic or social status attached
After launching my own company, many people asked me what I want in the future — increasing the number of entrepreneurs to support, getting popularity, or becoming rich?
My focus has been how to foster change in a most efficient way by grasping the right timing.
Time put into books
My friend like a library once told me “Instead of going to random events, read books. Authors committed a huge amount of time to finish writing books, and they often thoroughly consider the contents while writing it.”
We can pause time while reading books. Sometimes we time-travel, dig into the past, and travel to the future.
Or we know people better from the books that they are reading, notice what was actually happening in the history from mystery books, and find the readers’ real traits.
Call our καιρός
I don’t like to see something unfair based on bias that is built on vail of ignorance. Without removing the vail, we are all biased, and we don’t know how much we are biased at all.
Recently I was too overwhelmed with overflowed information on the internet. The time spent on a content on the internet is much less than the time spent on writing a book. Too many cliche, criticisms and gossip all over. When these overwhelmed information occupies our focus and steals our time, we hardly find our Kairos moment.
Let’s find Kairos because we all found covid-19 outbreak paused many activities and the controllable time that we previously had is no longer available. Kairos will suddenly come when we are wandering our mind.