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The Illusion Of Time

By Enas Khalid



I have to accomplish my to-dos by the end of 2019.

I have to finish up the tasks on my list before turning 29.

What will happen if this goal is not achieved?

What I know for certain is that I will feel insufficient, because I did not meet my self-set criteria of success – the criteria of time.

These thoughts make me wonder whether or not putting time as a criterion really works? Or is time just a big load that we continue to carry over our shoulders that prevents us from taking any steps forward?


I call this: the illusion of time.


We can’t deny that putting time as a criterion for accomplishment controls, defines, and motivates us to put the work in towards achieving our goals. However, we are surrounded by time. We are surrounded by many circumstances – from internal ones to external ones, from temporal and spatial circumstances to mental circumstances. We are enrolled by this whole, and to have the ability to both maintain and control it, in order to meet these temporal criteria, is nearly impossible; and if doable, is very stressful.


Why do I have to finish my paper by the end of the year? How is finishing it by December 2019 really different from finishing it by March 2020?!


Putting time as a criterion is nothing but an illusion; you control time, not time controls you. It’s true, we do calculate according to it, but we invented the concept of time, didn’t we? How can something we created control us? How can it put so much pressure on us? Thinking about it, what is the difference, really, in completing your own project at age 28 instead of age 30? Realistically, there is no difference. I realize that we are only fooling ourselves, whether we’re doing it consciously or subconsciously.


Regarding this delusional, numerical concept we call “time”, it’ll always exist. We can’t control it. Or can we? Because deciding to initiate an action at 7:00 PM instead of 7:05 PM, or deciding to initiate a change on the 1st of January instead of the 15th of May, are only constraints we set for ourselves. These delusional concepts are innate somehow. And in my opinion, we not only can control them, but we should control them.

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