Understanding the nature and behavior of time, the cause & effect of human motivation, and the nature of interaction between ‘human activities’ and ‘Time’ is important to become able to best use ‘Time’.

First thing to mention here is that the behavior of Time itself when observed as an independent entity and the behavior when observed in relation to other entities is different.

By other entities I mean, humans and all other physical entities in our surroundings. Here, for the purpose of this discussion, only human interaction with time is studied.

The behavior of Time

Time is cyclic in nature and behavior. We cannot know anything about time unless it is measured in terms of physical phenomenon. The measurement of time is dependent on the relative positioning of Sun and Earth. So ‘time’, that we know about, is a physical phenomenon and is repetitive in nature and behavior. Everyday we experience repetitive cycle of relative positioning of Sun and Earth. Not only for a day; throughout the year we experience the same behavior of repetitive cycles of relative positioning of the two celestial bodies. Sunrise and sunset times repeat, seasons repeat, and it is because of this very nature of time that we can exactly know when the sun will rise on this date the next year. Note, that here we are studying time independently and not in relation to anything else. So, the repetitive cycles of time are EXACTLY the same always. Here, it is important to note that if we remove the ‘physical measurement’ element from the definition of time, suddenly, we are left in a vacuum where we cannot understand or even feel anything about time!

The nature of human interaction with time

When the nature and behavior of time is observed in relation to human activity, it behaves in a different manner. It transforms from cyclic to non-cyclic behavior. For example, it never happens in a human life that 1 January of one year is exactly the same as it ever been in one’s life or it ever will be. Or one morning in one’s life is never exactly the same as any other in the past or future.

We measure the human life with the units of ‘time’. The cycles of seconds, minutes, hours … months, years between the ‘Time of Birth’ and the ‘Time of Death’. Here again, when we are only measuring the time of human stay in this world we measure it in terms of repetitive cycles. Whereas, when we talk about human activity during this ‘stay’ – the activity-time interaction – the nature of observation and study changes from cyclic to non-cyclic.

The cause and effect of human motivation

The human motivation is related to the activity-time interaction and not to the independent measurement of time. I will try to explain this as follows.

My explanation of the above statement will be from the perspective of the original common design of human existence and the extent of human capability to know about the limits of our existence. Since, we are talking about time, so in terms of time, the human existence in this world has the limits as mentioned above: ‘Time of Birth’ and ‘Time of Death’. We all know about our ‘Time of Birth’ but with no expansion of our knowledge about our existence we have ever been able to know about the other limit, i.e., ‘Time of Death’. This ignorance of the other limit has been so commonly accepted that it has never been even attempted to calculate or measure.

So, in simple terms, we only know our ‘start’ but not the ‘end’.

Motivation comes out from ‘Motive’. So ‘motive’ and ‘motivation’ as defined in various dictionaries is:

OXFORD
Motive: “A reason for doing something.” [https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/motive] Motivation: “A reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.” [https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/motivation]

CAMBRIDGE
Motive: “a reason for doing something” [https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/motivation] Motivation: “enthusiasm for doing something” [https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/motivation]

MERRIAM WEBSTER
Motive: “something (such as a need or desire) that causes a person to act” [https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/motive] Motivate (motivating): “to provide with a motive” [https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/motivate] Motivation: “the act or process of motivating” [https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/motivation]

So, human motivation requires a ‘reason’, a ‘motive’ to compel one to behave in a particular way. This reason should have at least two of the following elements. If, both are present, only then it generates the behavioral drive. One is a ‘physical-output’; and/or ‘situational-outcome’; and/or ’emotional-state’ and the other is the element of ‘Time’.

I will explain the element of ‘Time’ as follows. The element of ‘time’ as a component of ‘Motive’ has two different ‘states’.
1. When the time limits are known: that is, both ‘start’ and ‘end’ are known.
2. When the time limits are not known: that is, ‘start’ is known but the ‘end’ is unknown.

So due to these 2 states of the time component of human motives, the human motivation and resulting behavior as well as the definition of the goals and motives is different.

In the first case, where the limits are known, humans act with ‘achievement motivation’.
In the second, where the limits are not known, humans act with what I call as: ‘maintenance motivation’.

All higher level ‘quality-of-life’ motives are the ‘maintenance motive’. For example, maintaining truthfulness by an individual, maintaining ethical behavior, maintaining fulfillment of religious duties, maintaining peace in a society, maintaining law and order in a society, etc. These are the actions that are derived by motives that do not provide an ‘end’ limit as a time component. They should be ‘maintained’ all the time. Almost all of the times, such motives are usually ‘mandatory’.

The other type of motives is ‘achievement motive’, where the limits are defined. For example, achieving a sales value of 1 billion during 2018, reducing the number of road side accidents by 50% during 2018 …

The above examples distinctly define the two types of motives and how they differ due to the difference in their ‘time’ element. The resulting human behavior is also different in both types of motives.

Different human behavior with respect to 2 types of motives

1. ‘ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVE’: They result into scheduled action with periodic outputs.
2. ‘MAINTENANCE MOTIVE’: They result into continuous maintenance of a ‘state’ defined by the motive.