How to Use the Concept of Time to Create Positive Changes in Your Life


Any problem you might be experiencing needs time to exist. If you think about a situation you went through previously and it troubles you now, you have entered the realms of time; namely in the past.

On the other hand, if you’re worrying about an upcoming event you might find yourself in, then again you have entered into time, which in this case is the future.

Both the past and the future exist in your mind and hence, time also exists in your mind.

You can cease creating problems associated with time through being in the present moment. However, there are also a number of techniques you can use from the area of time-lining, which is a branch of NLP.

Check out the tips below and play around with your concept of time, in order to create positive changes in your life. The following are best done when you’re sitting alone in a quiet place:

1. Go back to the problematic event

Are you facing a difficulty in your personal or professional life at this moment? Well, the chances are this isn’t the first time you’re experiencing such a challenge.

Use your imagination to go back to the earliest occurrence of when you experienced the same problem. It might even be when you were a kid. Next, consider what states you needed back then when you had this experience which would have helped you deal with it better. Maybe it was confidence, or assertiveness or love.

Whatever it is, use your ability to access those states now (either through remembering a time when you had the same experience or act as if you had it). Once you feel the emotions strongly in your body, give them to that younger you.

As you do, notice how that younger you changes for the better.

2. Go back to before you were born

Before you were born you were in your mother’s womb. At this point you were full of infinite potential and had no sense of any problems or struggles.

You can you use your imagination to go back to this time before you were born. You can experience the sense of there being endless possibilities to be the person you want to be, who has the ability to do wonderful things in the world.

As you do, consider how you want to construct the perfect you. Think of all the qualities you want to give to this amazing you (maybe its increased performance, happiness, assertiveness, leadership etc.).

Allow yourself to experience these qualities and as you begin to feel them powerfully, using your imagination, move up through time, as a child, a young person, a young adult and fully grown adult until the present moment, having these qualities through each stage of your life.

Next, look out into the future and notice how your life improves when you act from the position of your ideal self.

3. Creating a brighter future

Is the challenge you’re facing something that hasn’t happened yet? Are you seeing a picture of yourself in your mind that is less than what you really want? If so, what resources would help you to make the future you much more empowered?

If it’s confidence you need, then use your ability to imagine and feel to experience a state of confidence now, and then give this confidence to that future you.

If its safety you want, then experience safety now. When you feel it powerfully, apply it to the future you, so that you experience a more secure future.


Bodenhamer, B. G & Hall, L. M, 1998. Adventures with Time Lines. Meta Publications: California.

My friends, it’s over to you:

• What others ways can we use to deal with issues from the past and make the future brighter?
• Please share your valuable experiences, thoughts and views in the comments box below.
• Please also share this post on your favourite social networks. Thank you.


Photo Credit: rabiem22

  1. Interesting post here, Hiten. YOu’re telling us that we don’t have to be stuck to certain emotions or memories from our past. We can go back in time or into the future and change how we feel about something. What you’re describing in #3 of fearing the future, sounds similar to a visualization practice.

    We have to have a good picture in our minds of actions we take to materialize positive outcomes. I’ve done this when playing sports, when trying to mentally picture positive outcomes at work and even in my personal life. Visualizing a positive future is a good technique to manifest positive outcomes!

    1. Hi Vishnu,

      I’m glad you found the post interesting, my friend. Indeed a key part of time-lining is exactly about not being stuck to ‘bad’ experiences we had in the past. It is also about travelling back into our past and healing any issues from there. It is also about looking into the future from the position of having all the resources we need to help us deal with challenges that may come our way.

      The approaches I’ve mentioned are quite stripped down just to give people a feel of what they can experience. The full time-lining techniques are much more comprehensive. You’re right; a lot of visualisation is involved.

      Many thanks for sharing your experiences of using visualisation to help you when playing sports and to get positive outcomes in your personal life. Creative visualisation really does work.

      Thanks for joining the discussion Vishnu and hope you’re having a good week.

  2. Hi Hiten,

    After a long time i visit here, feeling pleasnt to commenting here, such a creative thought you have, You describe the time factor here in a very good manner, yes time always rolling in our mind either its about past or about future. you said very right most of the time if we think about past event it can become a solution of current problems.

    anyway thanks for sharing such a creative post

    1. Hi Rupali,

      It’s wonderful to see you, my friend. How are you? Hope you’re well.

      Indeed, we can definitely go back into our past to heal problems we had and bring forward with us the solutions so that they may help us in the future.

      Many thanks for joining the discussion here, Rupali!

  3. Or, you could ignore the whole concept of time and act like it doesn’t exist. Many physicists aren’t even sure that time works in a linear fashion and another theory is that everything is happening at the same time. Basically, that the present is all there ever is.

    My philosophy is that the past and the future are figments of my imagination. Even if they do exist, they are just different versions of the present anyway.

    1. Hi Jamie,

      Indeed, as you quite rightly said, another approach is to ignore the concept of time and live in the present moment.

      I can appreciate what you said about the past and future being figments of your imagination. The past and the future only exit because of representations we create on the screen of our minds. It’s not as if the past and the future exist outside of ourselves.

      Many thanks for leaving such a thought provoking comment, Jamie.

  4. I really like these exercises, Hiten, especially the one where I can go back in my mother’s womb with all the possibilities in front of me.

    I didn’t make the best choices in my earliest life, and I think that anyone like me, and we know there are many 🙂 we can do this exercise and make all the right decisions this time.

    I try not to dwell on the past much for my own good, but doing it this way is an all different story.

    Thanks for this interesting post.

    1. Hi Sylviane,

      I’m so glad you liked the exercises and found this post interesting. I’ve personally had some great success with imagining being back in my mother’s womb. It really is a powerful position, because as you say, all of our possibilities are in front of us.

      Absolutely, with such time-lining techniques we really can go back and make the right decisions, using the adult resources we have now.

      Many thanks for adding so much more value to this post, Sylviane.

  5. Interesting concept here, Hiten. I too like the idea of going back to the time of endless possibilities. Time is really the great healer no matter which way we turn.

    1. Hi Cathy,

      Indeed, just like you, I love the idea of being able to go back to before we were born when literally anything was possible for our lives. At this point, using our unconscious minds we can create all the resources we might have needed when we were younger and use them, and continue using them in our lives in the future.

      I just loved what you said about time being a healer no matter which way we turn. This sums up this concept beautifully.

      Many thanks for commenting, Cathy and for adding so much more to this post. Have a wonderful weekend.

  6. Hi Hiten,
    I find your concept interesting because I’ve also been thinking aboutthis stuff a lot..and here’s what i would do and recommend to others for getting pover a negative “bump”

    1.Don’t think negatively about the past and the future.There are many alternatives.I can suggest to you lots of them.But I sincerely encourage you to find out some of them for yourself.The exercise of looking for the alternatives itself will feel far more elevating than being a helpless victim.
    2. Don’t keep ruminating.And remembering the negative transactions with others.Let them go .Don’t keep chewing “negative cud”.
    3. Don’t remember with emotion,negative experiences of the past.This way you yourself are topping your tank with the wrong fuel.Use your emotions only for making positive contact with your memories and expectations.Your positive emotions are your biggest investment .And they are absolutely free of cost. Don’t squander your time and energy on gambling with negative emotions

    1. Hi Mona,

      I’m glad you found the post interesting and many thanks for sharing some wonderful advice in this area.

      Indeed, I can resonate with what you wrote about not thinking negatively about the past and the future. If one does begin to notice any negativity about the past or future, then one can become detached from this negativity and allow it to pass away.

      I can appreciate your point number 2, as well. Learning to let go of past hurts really is vital in being able to get on with our lives. What you said about not pondering on negative emotions makes a lot of sense, too. We can usually overcome any negative emotion by applying a positive emotion on it.

      Many thanks for adding so much more to this post, Mona and have a wonderful weekend. Happy Diwali!

      1. Thanks Hiten
        Thanks for adding great insights to my post on search for predictability.
        Wish you a great n happy Diwali too.

        1. Thank you, Mona and I really enjoyed your post on search for predictability. I’ll be over at your blog again shortly.

  7. This is a really interesting concept. I definitely like how it can help us remedy problems from our past and handle problems for our future. But I also think this is a really practical method to stay in the present.

    Every time you find yourself worrying about the past tell yourself: “That is my past self, not my present self.”

    Every time you think about the future you could say “That is my future self, not my present self.”

    Pretty genius stuff. Thanks for sharing man.

    1. Hi Kevin,

      It’s great to see you here my friend, and I just loved what you said about using such approaches as a way to stay in the present.

      Thanks also for sharing the sentences we can tell ourselves to help us stay in the present when we’re thinking about the past or the future. This is brilliant!

      Hope you’re having a good weekend.

  8. Your advice makes so much sense – the only problem (for me) is that my younger self was no where near as smart as my current self.The truth is I’m okay with that because I’ve always pushed myself hard and lived what some people might consider a pretty adventurous life with plenty of mistakes along the way. Regardless I think the ultimate point is the value of self awareness and I could not agree more! Thanks for the inspiration Hiten. 🙂

    1. Hi Marty,

      Thanks so much for your comment and you’re right, ultimately experimenting with such techniques is all about increasing our self-awareness, and as you say, this is the most important thing.

      I think going back to childhood and giving that child the resources he/she needed at that time, which the adult now has, can be a useful tool in helping to heal any issues the child had at that time.

      Many thanks for commenting Marty, and hope you’re having a good weekend.

  9. The advice of “going back before you were born” seems incomprehensible to me. You can only gain a good sense of time, and the best way to use it, if you see your life in perspective looking at the future. The main question is to see how you achieve goals by using your time effectively. How you can do that by “going back before you were born” is a mystery to me. A well-written article, but I disagree with its advice.

    1. Hi John,

      Welcome to the blog!

      Regarding your question, another way of looking at what I meant is to consider the point when one still hasn’t been born yet, and using this opportunity to create any resources which a person can then apply to any problems, which may have been experienced during childhood, for instance.

      Many thanks for your thought provoking comment and for adding so much more to this post, John.

  10. Hi Hiten,

    This is truly a thought-provoking post! I recently came to the realization that some behaviors and thoughts from my past were necessary then and served a purpose at the time, but aren’t productive for me today. It was quite the realization for me. Instead of getting down on myself for not being able to overcome my past, it freed me to recognize the positive aspects of my past thinking, feelings and behaviors and then to let them go.

    1. Hi CJ,

      I just loved what you shared about realising that certain behaviours and thoughts served a purpose in the past and now they are no longer productive.

      This is a wonderful perspective to take as we are looking at past behaviours with adult eyes, meaning we no longer need to be stuck by difficult issues we may have experienced when we were younger.

      Many thanks, CJ for adding some wonderful insights to this post.

  11. Time is both a blessing and a curse 🙂

    It’s quite possibly the greatest gift you could ever have because you tend to get reminded that time will never come back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

    I remember when it was 2009 and I was 25 years old. I thought I had plenty of time to get myself together and had all of these hopes and dreams to be somewhere better.

    But fast forward to 2013 at 29. I’m still sort of in the same place, driving the same car and living at home with family.

    It’s given me a harsh glimpse of my progress and has made it clear that I simply have to change my strategy and work harder if i’m to change my circumstances, because life and time is simply indifferent and ticks whether you take action or not.

    I liked your first point where you talk about reflecting and looking back. It’s perhaps the most effective thing you can do as it teaches you to become conscious of what you’re doing and allows you to learn and make smarter decisions. 🙂

    1. Hi Onder,

      Many thanks for leaving such an insightful comment, my friend.

      I think you’ve made massive amounts progress already, Onder which is hugely inspiring. As you stated, you’re now able to consider certain areas of your life where you still want to make progress and can get back on track with these areas through trying different approaches.

      I loved what you wrote about the point about reflecting and looking back. You explained this from a perspective of learning from our previous experiences, which is ultimately the best thing to do with our past.

      Thanks for commenting, Onder and all the best with your recent book! I would be honoured if you would consider writing a guest post for my blog sometime.

  12. Hello Hiten,

    Sorry about not being around as much lately. I’ve been transitioning jobs so have been busy.

    Great thoughts here. Taking time to think and reflect on our past can allow us to better navigate the future. To know what to do and not to do.

    1. Hi Dan,

      It’s great to see you my friend, and please, there’s no need to be sorry. It’s wonderful to see you whenever you drop by. I hope the new job is going really well, and I wish you the very best.

      Indeed, as you stated, our past experiences can help us to approach the future far better. We needn’t be held back by our past. We can take the lessons learnt and move on.

      Many thanks for commenting, Dan!

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