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Success and Leadership

The 5 Categories Of Time Perception That Are Found In People

How we perceive time can give multiple translations to our experience of the world. Scientists decided to divide people into five categories, two of which focus on the past, another two on the present, and a single category pays attention to the future. The way time affects us has a severe impact on our happiness. Today we will see in detail what each of these five categories represents.

  1. Future Time Perspective

    Instead of starting with the past approaches, we will follow the opposite direction. People who focus on the future are the ones who set goals, make plans, and finally organize their time to respond adequately to the increasing demands they have created. They are more likely to be stressed or suffer from anxiety. However, they are very ambitious and the types of people that make things happen. The approach a person will have regarding time is strictly related to their cultural background and religion, as well as the climate they live in. According to scientists, Protestants often belong to this first category compared to Catholics.

  2. Past-negative Time Perspective

    Here, we have people who would rather turn their attention to the negative things that happened to them in the past. Based on these facts, together with their approach towards life, they are discouraged about the outcome of their lives. This mindset practically ”freezes” them, and it is highly expected to hear them say there is nothing they can do to change the conditions in their lives. The difficulty in seeing their potential is based on the fact that they focus on the past and forget that life has not ended yet.

  3. Past-positive Time Perspective

    Next, we have those who are again focused on the past but have the opposite recollection of memories. It seems that time for those people stopped when they experienced some inspiring emotions. While most of you probably expect that people in the present categories will be the more healthy ones, scientists claim that past-positive thinkers have the most chances of being happy. The negative characteristic of these people is that they are resistant to change. Because they believe that everything that belongs to the past is positive, they do not find any reason why things should change. They are quite conservative if you think about it, but because they have happy memories, they do not hold any regrets about the past, and they are not mean to other people. They are giving and willing to share because emotions of security are solid in their souls, and they practically do not have anything to worry about.

  4. Present-hedonistic Time Perspective

    The present-hedonistic TP person lives in the moment. The word ”hedonistic” comes from the Greek word ”ηδονή” which is the Greek word for pleasure. The Greek philosopher, Epikouros was the first one to point out that this should be the purpose in life, meaning that we should seek anything that brings joy in biological terms, like food, because this is what we are meant to be. In this category, the chances of finding a person struggling with addiction are higher. They can give in to temptations and will be more willing to give up a career or sacrifice their financial stability to have fun. They are generally risky and likely to be into extreme sports and activities.

  5. Present-fatalistic Time Perspective

    Last but not least, we have those who have a passive approach to the present and believe that everything results from pure luck. In this case, the word fatalistic comes from the word ”fate.” Their motto is ”what will be, will be.” Those who believe in karma are often found in this category and may believe that external forces have greater power over their future than they have over themselves. It is possible to meet religious people in this category or followers of any kind that refuse to take action about things that matter to them.


Have you read?
Corrosive Coworkers: The Behaviors that Derail Efforts, Hinder Teams and Drive Good Workers Away by Kelly McDonald.
Stress and Decision-Making: 4 Things Leaders Need To Know by Dr. Sheila Ohlsson Walker.
Just Because You Can Take Business Doesn’t Mean You Should by Steven L. Blue.
4 Ways to Approach Your Team Restructuring by Rhett Power.
Why you should use the f word (feelings,) at work by Prina Shah.

CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Success and Leadership - The 5 Categories Of Time Perception That Are Found In People
Anna Siampani
Anna Siampani, Lifestyle Editorial Director at the CEOWORLD magazine, working with reporters covering the luxury travel, high-end fashion, hospitality, and lifestyle industries. As lifestyle editorial director, Anna oversees CEOWORLD magazine's daily digital editorial operations, editing and writing features, essays, news, and other content, in addition to editing the magazine's cover stories, astrology pages, and more. You can reach Anna by mail at