The Greeks had two ways of understanding time. One is “Chronos.” Chronos is clock time: seconds, minutes, weeks, decades. It’s the notion of duration and succession. When we talk about time, this is usually what we mean.
Kairos is a different kind of time. Dr. James Houston describes Kairos as “time evaluated, signifying instrumentation and purpose.” We’re talking about Kairos when we use phrases like, “the perfect time” or “the right time.” Kairos is the time when we see ourselves in the context of a greater reality than our day-to-day Chronos.
Recently, my wife and I took a vacation – time away, a time of reassessment, refreshment, distraction, deliberately disrupting our routines. You’re more likely to experience a Kairos moment of insight when you step away from those daily routines. You’re probably fortunate enough to have the means and the freedom to enjoy a different place or people that are not part of your life.
Many of us made life changing choices during vacations. Some moved a couple of time zones away. Others changed vocations. Still others chose to change a relationship.
One notion is that you travel to understand another place. Another notion is you travel to another place to understand your own place better. Cross-cultural experiences and travel expose you to alternatives. Sometimes the alternatives are entirely inappropriate. Other times they reveal a far better option.
I often invite you to consider and to craft your legacy. It’s natural to become comfortable in our routine. But sometimes a routine can become a rut. That’s why you should step away from time to time and assess your life and purpose. That’s the time to seek a Kairos moment of insight.
When your Chronos expires, what do you want your Kairos to amount to?
What have you done to step back and contemplate your life in context?
Terry Moore, CCIM, is the author of Building Legacy Wealth: How to Build Wealth and Live a Life Worth Imitating. Read his “Welcome to My Blog.”