October 11, 2013

The Busy Culture

The year was 1582 and changes needed to be made. There had been much discussion for many years over this critical issue and the solution had been found.

This was the year the Gregorian calendar (also known as the Christian or Western calendar) was more widely used. It featured 365 days, 5 hours, and 49 seconds which was a reduction of 10 minutes and 48 seconds from the Julian calendar to align the celebration of Easter with the Spring Equinox. It's the calendar we use today.

Some of the prominent inventions of the 16th century included; bottled beer, the graphite pencil, the pocket watch, the map projector, the knitting machine, and flush toilets. Each was created within the time constraints of the calendar we have today.

What about now?

Since the year 2000, we have seen the emergence of the iPod, the Braille glove, birth control patch, artificial liver, the virtual keyboard, and the iPhone.

In the 16th century, the average life expectancy was around 50 and in some areas of the world – like North America – it’s close to 80 today. The world’s population in 1582 was about 500 million and it’s over 7 billion today.

Why is this important?

Since our current calendar was adopted, we are living 40% longer and the population has increased 350% but each of us still has only 24 hours in each day. Yet we continue to attempt to jam more and more stuff into each of them. More meetings, more email, more tasks, more deadlines, more sales calls, more everything.

In a hundred years, they may come up with another way of measuring days, years, and centuries. There will be medical breakthroughs to give humans a longer lifespan, and our finite planet will probably have a couple more billion people living on it which gives pause to the environmental impact. But hopefully the desire to do more tomorrow than today will at some point subside.

Let's exchange emails and book a meeting to discuss.
Kneale Mann | Leadership Strategist, consultant, writer, speaker, executive coach facilitating performance growth with leaders, management, and teams.

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