Fighting Chronos

The Greeks had two different words for “time” - Chronos and Kairos.

Chronos refers to chronological or sequential time. It’s quantitative nature measures time in minutes

Kairos refers to a proper or opportune time. It’s qualitative nature measures time in moments

Far too often we fall prey to living in Chronos time - getting this done by that time; checking our watch; feeling rushed, behind, disorganized.  We note and measure every passing or coming minute. The clock hands ticking past feel akin to a treadmill we can never get off of. 

Kairos time moments are often rare - and usually strikes us as novel. Our children taking their first steps, a sunset lighting up the horizon after a rainy day, a date night that you lose yourself in, getting into a deep flow with work we love. The clock hands don’t seem to move - or even more accurately, we don’t even think of them. 

Chronos is historically personified in a few morbid ways - one as a father devouring his son. Another as Time clipping Cupid’s wings. 

Kairos is typically personified with youth, beauty, peacefulness.

Chronos asks What time is it?

Kairos asks What time is it for?

How does this work financially? When we are making money decisions - whether it’s for long-term investments or short-term cash flow - I think we’re all better off if we ask which TIme we’re being influenced by.
Interesting Resources 

1. Quarterly Journal of Economics (May 1997) - The Effect of Myopia and Loss Aversion on Risk Taking: An Experimental Test 
There's been a few research papers since, but this was one of the seminal papers that show the more frequently investors check their portfolios, generally the poorer returns they get. This is because of something we all have naturally build in us - loss aversion. Every dollar we lose hurts more than any dollar we gain. And so the more frequently investors check their portfolios, the higher chance of seeing a negative return (good summary here), and thus the higher chance of making a bad decision at a bad time. 

2. Inc. - The Fearsome Nightmare Entrepreneurs Never Talk About
Oh man - all the feels on this one. I don't think business owners are unique in this, but I think in general we put on a braver face and talk about it less. It's the gut-wrenching, sleep-depriving, anxiety-inducing fear of Failure. This terror overrides intellect, calculations, and sometimes even Faith. If this sounds at all familiar, give this a read - and know that you're not alone in the battle against it. 
Today is Good Friday. It's also the 1st birthday of our youngest child. It seems a good time to personally reflect on living more in Kairos time and less in Chronos time - and I'd invite you to do the same. Let's try to live in the Moments instead of measuring the Minutes. 

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