Please think about some very important decision points (pivotal times) during your life—when the decisions you made would be/were critical to your life’s unfolding? What about the pivotal decisions we make about choosing a mate (or not), deciding on a career, determining where to live, discerning one’s life path? These are pivotal moments!
And then there are other defining moments along life’s paths—experiential times that determine your authentic nature—your character, integrity—and how you choose to “be” as you relate to the world around you.
Similarly, the ancient Greeks had two interesting ways to describe time. One is chronos… which is the linear time we all know….the clock ticking forward from seconds to minutes to hours to days, weeks, years—throughout the duration of our lives. The other is kairos…and this is distinctively different and hugely important. Kairos means opportunity, the right season, or fitting time. It includes the idea of an opportunity or a suitable time for an action to take place. It is a time when things come to a head—requiring decisive action—which in turn, renders a pivotal consequence no matter which decision is made. (That’s kairos—an opportunity that is pulling you, entreating you to be something larger than oneself, and something for which you know there is risk in the outcome.) Can you recognize your life’s kairos moments?
When we seize the day we are taking advantage of the kairos given to us. When we courageously stand up for something—even when the odds and the world be against us—we are seizing that pivotal, crucial moment. We are engaging with kairos. Some have linked kairos with those serendipitous moments that appear in our lives and which nudge us forward.
Thinking about chronos time and kairos time…isn’t it therapeutic to decide to take a few minutes of chronos (linear) time to help a child, an aging adult, or to pay some random act of kindness forward…because the opportunity is before us and beckons us, might be orchestrated? Perhaps that precise moment of our giving creates a pivotal kairos moment for another. It has been noted that synchronicity is connected to kairos—those times of unexplainable-yet-meaningful (well-noted) coincidences that occur in our lives. Here’s to moving forward with our Lights On!—ready for our impactful kairos moments, whether they are the the major ones or the minor—Seize the Day!
Claire Knowles is a 2-time best-selling author, in-demand speaker, and an effective business leadership consultant. In addition, she specializes in Safety and HR in her work with her husband and partner.
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