Uncovered an interesting tidbit this week. Apparently, the ancient Greeks had two words for “time”—chronos and kairos.
Chronos described sequential time—seconds, minutes, hours. (Hence, of course, our word chronological). Kairos, on the other hand, meant “the right or opportune moment.” More qualitative than chronos, kairos would have been closer to our word, timing.
Robert Dale makes a great point about these two nuances. Investing chronos well, he says, pays off in kairos. In other words, the more wisely we use our seconds, minutes, and hours, the more often the stars align and we find ourselves in the right place at the right time.
It’s the whole “overnight success" idea—there’s really no such thing. What there is is a culmination of hard work invested again and again that eventually creates conditions ripe for success. Timing takes time.
Kairos takes chronos.