I am amazed at how comics use timing to get a laugh. It is truly an art form and a skill. Some have it naturally, I believe they call it “funny bones,” which I think is one component of having talent. Others have to cultivate and practice for years in order to learn how to use it. Actors use timing when saying lines during a scene. An example is pausing after a saying a line to build tension is one such use – “You talkin to me?” But timing does not just have to do with the world of comedy and acting.
Life is all about timing, the bigger picture all the way down to the minuscule moments of life. Also there is natural timing and there is what I call man-made timing. Natural timing occurs on its own, meaning it’s just a matter of paying attention and you can feel it. Man-made has more to do with tangibles such as clocks or trains running on time. Come to think of it that too has to do with a clock. The point is there is a distinct difference between the two. One you can feel and the other you can touch or see. However, you can feel out natural timing within man-made timing. Let’s say you have an important meeting to attend and you need to catch a certain train otherwise you will be late and miss out on a golden opportunity. The meeting and train time are manufactured of course. But let’s also say you are at home, overslept, your son needs attending to and you need to prepare in advance for the said golden opportunity. So you look at the clock, again man-made. Then suddenly you notice that you are running behind and you will not make it unless you really get moving. That is the natural timing that exists within you that motivates you to really step it up. Now this is a very simple example and I want to take it to the next level.
Although in order to feel that timing within, one has to be present and awake to the moment to feel the tension inside, this is what I call life pushing you to get moving. So many people are not awake to that level of timing, which is just another way of saying they are not paying attention or they feel it, but override it or push it aside letting other things get in the way so as not to feel the reality of what is going on. I think that what so many people fail to miss is just how timing really affects one another and the impact you may have on those around you.
Let’s take the example of a meeting. If you were to show up late to the meeting be it five, ten or thirty minutes, and there were five people attending the meeting, these five people are affected by your simple action of being late. How they are affected may vary between each individual, but if you were to play it – one may have another meeting that they may end up being late for, thus affecting another group of people who are seemingly unconnected to the group of people from the first meeting. Or maybe, one person in the meeting affected by the tardiness decides to get up and go the bathroom because the meeting has not started, and on the way to there he or she bumps into someone in the hallway causing that person to drop a number of very important carefully collated documents onto the floor. And these were very important documents that were in fact a contract for a very big deal, which would have an impact on whether or not the company could continue operating or not. And because the document is now spewed all over the floor and out of order, this could end up being detrimental to the number of people working for the company.
There are far greater unforeseen consequences in the form of timing that we will never know such as car accidents and death. The point is that timing is something not to take for granted.
At first glance, this seems like common sense and obvious, but do you really pay attention?