A few years ago I happened to visit The Night of Explorers in Vilnius, where I attended a lecture of psychology about the perspectives of time. In the lecture there were six time perspectives presented by which people perceive their lives, defined by psychologists Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd. They are past-positive, past-negative, present-hedonistic, present-fatalistic, future-goal-oriented, and future-transcendental.
Past-positive perspective describes people who nostalgically remember old times, who cultivate traditions, are interested in family genealogy, the national culture. The people of past-negative perspective can’t forget harm made to them or are feeling guilty for the mistakes done, they often hyperbolise negative past events, injuries, coercion, violence, etc. Present-hedonistic perspective describes people, who enjoy the present moment and aim for new experiences. The representatives of present-fatalistic perspective think that all is predetermined and you can’t change anything. They usually fall into the arms of faith and perceive the life cynically. Future-goal-oriented perspective describes people who define goals and aim for them, who invest time and money to learning and some activities; who work in order to have something, who check their health more often. Future-transcendental perspective describes people who believe in life after death and are trying to live this life as righteous as possible to get better conditions in the future one.
Probably it would be fairest to treat all perspectives equal. However, I would place myself mostly between present-hedonistic and future-goal-oriented perspectives. I care about the future of mine and my relatives, I take time for self-education and self-improvement, I am interested in future technologies and achievements of humanity, I attend technological meetups and conferences, but at the same time I enjoy the present: I travel, from time to time I enjoy gourmet food, I watch movies, read books, and browse the web.
On the other hand, self-awarenes and self-improvement and understanding that you are responsible for your own life is only the first step. When you realise that you are the artisan of your own fortune, the next step is to collaborate and learn to be useful aiming for common objectives. American Indians say that in the world you have to take care about seven future generations. Are our decisions going to give benefits to people 140 years later?
Nowadays technologies are improving and changing fast and now there are new principles in force that were not existing before or were not obvious. The web accelerated innovation. Now designers and engineers can create prototypes before thinking about the business model. Technologies like Internet, various apps, phones, tablets, 3D printers and others are tools to achieve bigger objectives.
If you want to learn something, you have to start learning. You can choose 30 days challenge: for one month do some new activity every day (learn to draw, to play music, new language, train your body, be on a special diet, etc.) and if you leave out one day, the challenge has to be taken from the begining. Don’t limit yourself to challenges. Learn from others all the time and teach others. Everyone has something to learn from. And your own experience can be useful to a learning one. Education is what others do to you, and learning is what you do to yourself. We need both.
Recently some news was published telling that starting from 2020 in Finland students will be taught not separate subjects, but rather integrated lessons by the theme. For example, in the lesson about European Union, you will be able to learn foreign languages, economy, geography, and history. It seems that nowadays it becomes more and more important to have an overview of multiple areas and to be able to migrate from one area to another. The director of MIT Media Lab Joi Ito wrote in the TED ideas blog:
We want people who both break the boundaries of disciplines and can move seamlessly between them. Worldviews and frameworks are so different between the traditional disciplines that practitioners have a difficult time talking to each other. The anti-disciplinarian has a global worldview that means you can translate what you learn from one discipline into another. That means you can pull together insights and translate them usefully for others. As disciplines keep changing and reinventing themselves, and as the world gets more connected, being able to move seamlessly between these different languages becomes increasingly important.
Here is Joi Ito presentation about now-ism which is perceived more from the future-goal-oriented perspective than from the present-hedonistic perspective: