A lot of people often find themselves wondering why time flies.
Well, time isn’t what it used to be. It seems just yesterday that I started writing this article and yet it was three days ago. At this rate, I fear I will awaken at an elderly home tomorrow morning. And I’m just 26 now.
It wasn’t always like this.
I remember each of my childhood years as lasting an eternity. Unlike the other kids, I never wanted to grow up. It felt like a scam and I was right.
Upon reaching legal adulthood, everything sped up. Days mix with each other to form an indistinguishable blur of events and I don’t like it. I can’t seem to remember what this past Wednesday felt like or what decisions I made on Tuesday that lead me here. Moments like this often make me wonder why time flies.
Three weeks ago, I returned from a trip to Rome for three days. At the end of the first day, I laid exhausted in bed from a thrilling time in the city. That day felt as if it lasted more than 24 hours. The second day felt exactly the same way and so did the third. They were days full of excitement, joy, stress and learning.
As I played back the days in my head while flying out of Rome, those three days felt like twenty. I could recall each past activity in detail. I felt like I lived more in those three days than I had in months before the trip.
Intense moments, good or bad, feel as if they lasted longer. This is because the brain remembers much more when the information is relevant or if it causes a strong emotional reaction. I’ve washed dishes a million times, yet I can only recall one or two occasions. I would hate to remember the color of every dish soap I’ve ever used.
We spend more time doing yellow, but we only remember yellow. The varied experiences in colors feel as if they last longer.
In the beginning years of our lives, most experiences are new and important. The brain remembers most of these pieces of information in great detail throughout the day. Remembering days in their entirety creates the illusion of living longer, both during real-time and when accessing memories.
In contrast, as we age, few experiences are new, more mundane and less relevant. Days seem like they fly by that we can’t even remember past eve.
Holding On To Slippery Time
Understanding why time flies or what we can do about it isn’t hard. Intuitively, if our time feels like it’s going by too fast, we need to slow down.
I am aware of two types of feel for time.
Type one is how long each day feels from the moment I wake up. Going through a stressful moment at work would make my day feel longer as I count the hours ahead. Type two is how long the past days feel relative to today.
It is vital for me to have a good control over these two types of time. As often as I could, I try to get out of my comfort zone in an attempt to seek new powerful experiences — a great solution for both types of “time feel”.
I join local groups to talk and share and this often results in an exchange of powerful moments. I travel monthly to absorb new places and their culture.
Every day, I take some time to break the routine and monotony of my daily tasks by replacing them with new activities. I talk to strangers, hear their stories, eat my lunch seating under a different tree or share my stories through the web.
Time Halt Summary
Here are your key takeaways in making each day special and different.
1. Get out of your comfort zone as soon and as often as possible. Take risks as they are healthy in mild amounts.
2. Visit new places. Have you been to the broom closet in your job?
3. Share with people and hear their stories. People appreciate unloading their emotional baggage and an engaging story might be the tipping point in your day.
4. Break your self-imposed discipline. Don’t repeat the same tasks every day.
5. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s not always healthy to feel safe in your daily decisions or the type of clothes you wear. Only with mistakes will we know what works and what doesn’t.
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Author: Los Arteaga
My name is Los Arteaga. Graduate software engineer and avid instigator of great topics on the web. I live life on a budget so money can be routed into the important places such as more family time and travel. I have developed my own travel tool recently shared with the web free of cost, of course. Like many other people I possess a unique story of self-improvement I plan to share with the world. My blog: thepennyexplorer.com