Most people just think in terms of getting through this hour, this morning, this day, sometimes getting through this week, even more rarely getting through this month, or getting through a certain stage in life. The industrial revolution, with its almost mechanical obsession to a fixed regime, has made people forget about the natural cycles of nature. In fact, with the invention of electricity and lighting, many people stay up very late during the very dark hours of the night, so people sometimes forget even about the daily cycles of day and night.
What's sometimes more instructive and useful is to think in terms of longer waves. The longest wave for a particular person is the timeframe of a lifetime, which often gets overlooked for smaller details. Then, there are the flowing and ebbing of the 4 seasons in many parts of the world of winter, spring, summer, and autumn, which is another useful tool to follow. Daily circadian cycles are also important for the biological well-being and health of our bodies and minds.
Even longer waves to contemplate is possible, since we do have the ability to peer into the future. These would include cycles that span multiple generations, timeframes of centuries, or the creation and disappearance of cosmological bodies such as planets, stars, galaxies.
When one starts to look at life and the world in terms of longer waves, one starts to perceive a deeper and fuller understanding to the meaning of life, and one usually starts to think in a broader context, creating more meaning in life and in everyday actions. Something to think about. You may also want to read my related idea on Thinking Big.