From the Ask Tom mailbag –
I am still struggling with the concept of time span. You say that time span indicates complexity. How?
Don’t overthink this fundamental concept. Life is about uncertainty. It is like the weather and the stock market. There is always uncertainty.
Combine this level of uncertainty with our intentions (goal directed behavior) and you observe the consternation of the ages. This is not a matter of going with the flow, but trying to get something done, achieve a goal, create an accomplishment. Elliott describes this as the “time span of intention.”
In spite of our best intentions, the longer it takes to achieve the goal, the more time life has to be unpredictable. The shorter time it takes to achieve the goal, the less time life has to happen, the less opportunity for some circumstance to come in sideways and blow everything up.
Time span is about contingencies. Time span becomes a calibration tool that allows us to precisely measure the impact of uncertainty in our best laid plans.
Step back and remember Murphy’s Law. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. How long do we give Murphy to play?