Speed Of Time

Today I’m celebrating my birthday. I’m turning 41. Translated for you: It means I’m now closer to 50 than to 30 and closer to 60 than to 20. At least that’s what I’m thinking about right now. Also, 41 years means I’ve spent now more time living after the year 2000 than before. Hell, just think about it, 1990 is now further away than 2050.

Yes, birthdays get me thinking “about time” every single time.

And I like it.

Because time flies.

The speed of time is exactly 365.242189 days per year!

Is this fast? Is it slow? Well, that’s where it gets interesting, you see:

It depends!

What’s for sure is this: Time moves forward and forward only.

The past five years I kept thinking of ways how to “slow down” time in my life. We’ve experimented a lot with life and “this time around” I’m happy to write a blog post to share my findings and thoughts with you.

Hope you too can slow down time in your life!

Today is the oldest you’ve ever been.

And the youngest you’ll ever be again.

Five years ago, on my 36th birthday my dad called me. He was 72.

He said:

First: “Congrats, you’ve already reached half my age!”

Second: “You’re catching up!”

Last: “Beware, the second half goes faster…”

Like so many other lessons I could learn from my dad:

This sunk in.

Deeply.

While I appreciate every single day that is given to me, it’s terrifying how fast time actually flies.

Where did all the time go? Tomorrow isn’t promised.

The fair part of it is: It’s the same for everyone.

Nobody has figured out how to stop – or even reverse – time.

Time keeps flying no matter what you do.

Besides eliminating Time Bandits in your life, there are many more things you can do!

Create your own life progress-bar t-shirt at NAS daily, it shows how many % of your life as vs. your life-expectancy have passed already. [no affiliate link]

Time is Relative

The futurist Peter Diamandis once said, “The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live.” At first sight, this quote simply explains Einstein’s relativity theory.

But there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Let’s take the relativity theory apart and apply the findings to enrich our lives!

What does “time is relative” mean? It simply means that depending on the perspective of an observer, the passage of very same amount of time is perceived differently. I fully appreciated this meaning once we started living in Singapore.

Singapore is located almost at the equator. Every day you got about the same amount of sunshine and darkness. Further, every day, year around, the weather will be mostly the same. There is no more seasonality in Singapore as for in places where you take notice of spring, summer, autumn, or winter.

Due to missing seasonality, every day looks and feels the same. Lack of weather stimulating our brains will make perceived time speed up. It will get hard to “archive” your memories according to a season. For me in the beginning it felt like living “out of time”.

While this concept can be well explained with seasonality or the lack of it, it also works with your personal life experience.

Think of it like this: The older you get, the more you’ve experienced life, the less “interesting” or “new” normal experiences or habits will be for your brain. As a result, given no new stimulations, your brain will switch into autopilot and cruise-control through your ordinary life. Your brain zooms out!

Remember when you were a kid, how did waiting for Christmas feel? Waiting those 25 days through December? It took an eternity! On one hand our brain has a relativity function, so let’s say when you’re a five year old, your total accrued life experience is merely (5 x 365) 1,825 days, hence, waiting 25 days translates to a relatively long time as compared to your accumulated total. Once you’re turning 41 like me today, the brain has 14,965 days to put 30 days in relation to.

The older you get, the more you’ve seen and experienced, the easier it will get for your brain to essentially put your life on FASTFORWARD – if you stick to your current habits!

Have you ever watched the movie “Click” with Adam Sandler?

In this movie Adam Sandler gets a magic remote control that helps him skip the unpleasant parts of life. It learns and adapts his preferences and automatically skips the parts he doesn’t like, it helps him zoom out and by the end he missed most of his life!

You and me, we are pilots of our own life.

As pilots, there are some things we can do to slow down perceived time!

Bending Space Time

Research indicates that your perception of elapsed time is primarily influenced by the type and amount of NEW experiences you encounter!

Since we can’t influence the weather, why not focus on creating new stimuli yourself: The more “new” inputs for your brain to process, the more “interesting” your life, the slower time will pass for you!

I’ve tested this myself in the past soon five years.

After having left my 9-5 job in 2017 I’ve exposed myself intentionally to learning new things, such as blogging, starting businesses, travelling, learning other things and habits such as cooking, baking or cutting hair.

I can confirm Einstein was right: Time is relative indeed!

In the past 5 years we’ve made so many great and fond new memories as family.

If you plan to slow down time for yourself: Live life intentionally.

Keep your life interesting, expose yourself to new experiences, learn new skills, meet interesting new people, and go travel.

It’s time for a change: Bend your own space time!

Lightyears Ahead

Einstein also said: Time is relative. The faster you move, the slower your time passes!

However, if you turn the above around, the slower you move towards your desired goals, the slower your time seems to pass as you’re merely waiting for something to happen.

How does that translate to your life?

Let’s say you feel stuck in your professional life. Maybe you’ve been told to wait another five years for the next promotion. How do you feel will these five years feel if all you do is sit back and let life happen until your promotion?

Don’t do that! This is passive and will not add happiness to your life. It’s will feel like waiting forever and ultimately, in retrospect, there won’t be many memories or experiences to look back to!

Instead, try to put your dreams on drive and “jump” forward.

Recently I’ve challenged my kids with this:

I’ve given them this paper and asked them to show me the shortest way from A to B.

Sure enough they pointed out the fastest way is the direct line between the two points. In happy anticipation I kept pushing their initial findings back, asking them to “think out of the box”.

Like in this example, in life, if you follow the normal path, if will take you 36,000 years to reach Alpha Centauri [the next star system from earth]. Depending on your dreams, going the ordinary, proven path, you will never be able to reach your goal in a lifetime.

Ever.

If you want to speed up things though: You got to find the switch for the warp drive – or even better – find a wormhole!

The actual shortest way from A to B is to “bend space time”. Fold the paper and place B right next to A, find the bloody wormhole!

To move fast is to have all the time in world.

If I lost you here, please, let me try to explain: How does that work for YOUR life?

Before you speed-up, slow down. Stop!

Get crystal clear on where you currently are and where you’d like to go. If you observe your surroundings, try to see things differently, try to see wormholes or shortcuts. If not, it might be time to change your surroundings.

Surround yourself with people who would mention your name in a room full of opportunities.

Take care of your network, you might know someone who achieved already what you have in mind or who could help you on the next steps. Explore your network, learn from others, find out what’s the best course increase your options!

Then: Set YOUR new course!

Put your dreams on DRIVE!!!

Once you put the pedal to the metal and go full speed you will realize how your mindset gets equipped with a new set of priorities. When you travel high speed, you will need to be highly concentrated. Take note that by being fully focused to reach your goals faster, you will forego certain things and remove options in life. There are opportunity costs to every choice in life.

When you accelerate to warp speed, you can compare it like travelling on a highway. You will reach your goal faster and move into the right direction. However, you surrender your ability to stop at any random place at will. No more sightseeing. Your options to stopping or changing directions still exist, but they’ll be restricted to intersections or exits instead.

The faster and further you travel, the more new opportunities you will come across simply because you travelled further and saw more. Living life on a high-speed lifestyle you will embrace the importance of the bigger picture more than certain small details which you pass by fast.

By getting started terraforming your life you’ll have the ability to manipulate and enhance the quality of your time and life, also, you will attract a whole different set of new opportunities as well!

Beware, don’t forget to slow down or stop to reflect every once in a while!

One wormhole or shortcut may have worked in the past and helped you move forward. But it may not be what helps you move further towards your dreams.

What got you here, won’t get you there.

The one trick that will help you truly understand this concept for real list is:

Instead of looking at time elapsed, we should look and focus at distance travelled!

Conclusion

Become a time bender. Live timeless. Find ways to store time.

Live life intentionally, find shortcuts, live fast, slow down time. You have no time to waste. Do what you like to do now. Make the life you live right now count!

There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.

Time will tell.

A life well lived is long enough, but the second half goes faster. Winter is Coming.

The “faster you live”, the slower time passes. So put the pedal to the metal!

You only feel old when you stop discovering.

Explore, dream, discover!

It’s all about time.

Time to go!

Matt

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How to Store Time

This is the first post of a series called “financial excursions” where we will explore how to understand the world better while learning about money and your life. In my view, “financial excursions” are the best way to teach your kids about money. This summer we took our kids for a trip to see one of the largest dams with hydroelectric plant in Switzerland.

We marveled at the large wall, enjoyed the views from its top, learned about its functions and of course I grabbed the opportunity to explain how building a dam is similar to capturing your income streams and save money and therefore time for later usage in life.

Let’s explore our discoveries together.

Lac Mauvoisin

This summer, we went to see the Mauvoisin dam. In Switzerland we are very proud to have the bulk of our electricity production generated by hydropower (59.9%), nuclear power comes in second (33.5%) and conventional thermal power plants (2.3%, non-renewable) conclude the electricity mix.

Switzerland has currently 638 hydroelectric power plants. The largest dam in Switzerland is the 285 metre-high Grande-Dixence dam (canton of Valais), the second largest is the Mauvoisin dam standing at 250 metres (820 ft) tall, it’s the eight-tallest in the world.

The impounded water behind the Mauvoisin dam forms the 5 kilometres (3 miles) long lake with a capacity of 211.5 million m3 and captures the water from an area as large as 167 square kilometres.

The impressive statistics about this dam include of course its capacity to produce energy. Water released from the Mauvoisin dam into several hydroelectric power stations lower in the valley are boosting the Swiss energy grid with 943 million KWh annually!

The dam was also chosen as perfect location of the world-record highest [successful] basketball shot. In 2016 the 28-year-old Australian Derek Herron launched a basketball from the top of the dam, where it fell 180 metres directly into a net placed on the ground below.

Water And Gravity

My last post about waterfalls covered the topic how to build an abundant waterfall of income streams where we have learned how to diversify “getting paid”.

Fact is: The average millionaire has seven flows of income!

It’s good to have the income flows, but what do you do once the “water” comes flowing your way? If you don’t do anything particular, “water” will follow gravity and disappear in the endless oceans where it originally came from again.

Looking at the wild mountain range the kids could see how the mountains are still nicely covered in snow – even in summer. From there, the sun melts the snow into water and as it comes down, energy is set free. This energy, released from water flowing downwards, has been harnessed by humans for millennia. Over two thousand years ago, people in Greece used flowing water already to turn wheels of their mills to ground wheat into flour. Today, we convert this kinetic energy into electricity.

This sounds all magnificent. However, there’s one big problem here: As the water keeps flowing, you must keep using and consuming the energy right on the spot. Hence, how about if you would like to delay consumption? How to prevent money simply from flowing through your life I asked my kids standing on that magnificent dam?

If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.

Chinese saying

Build Your Dam

Of course, standing on one, the kids understood quickly: The best way to stop the water from simply flowing through is to build a dam. Financially spoken, this translates to controlling your spending and taming your tendencies towards increasing your spending as you earn more:

Avoid lifestyle inflation.

Forget about keeping up with the Joneses.

Re-direct a certain amount of your nicely flowing income into a “reservoir” for your future use.

In order to save, you need to build your financial dam in life.

A container or vehicle with a huge wall that can capture your ever-flowing income streams and keep the savings “safe”.

I explained my kids how useful it will be to have all this water saved up once winter is coming. You can then simply open the valve at and get fresh energy as and when you need it.

Simplified spoken it’s the same with money:

Fill your “containers” with money now so you can tap into your savings once you need it.

We shall cover in other posts what to do with your savings as keeping it simply in “money” itself is not the best choice anymore due to inflation though.

I further explained to the kids that the people running this hydro plant can not capture all the water as otherwise it would cause a drought downstream.

The amount of water they let pass represents the “enough” in your life.

How much money is enough, so your life is worth living?

Capture as Many Income Streams as Possible

Once your dam is built, try to collect the proceeds of more income streams into your reservoir. The more sources contribute to your collection, the easier and faster it will be to fill it up eventually.

At Mauvoisin the engineers have built tunnel systems and more deviations to capture the maximum amount of water possible in the area.

At this point you may ask your kids if they feel it usually takes too long to fill up their bathtub at home.

Wouldn’t it be easier to have a warm bath at home if water comes in from more than just one tap?

The more you put in, the faster it gets full.

The more you save, the easier your goal is reached.

Explain it would be the same with money and ultimately buying your time back in life.

Maximize Your Potential

The Mauvoisin system – like others as well in Switzerland – has an extra feature that not many know of and which I truly like.

Somewhat more downstream, there are other, smaller, reservoirs again to re-capture some water. These intermediary lakes are once again reservoirs where even more electricity can be produced as water lets gravity do its job.

Financially spoken this means nothing else than:

Spend your money or time wisely.

Maximise their usage.

Having such intermediary lakes can also be viewed as “budgets”.

Let me explain:

Energy consumption is not the same throughout the day, more of it is consumed during daytime and less is being used at night. In Switzerland we also have a significant energy output from nuclear power plants. As less energy is used at night, why not re-use the anyway produced nuclear power to pump additional water from intermediary lakes back up into the main reservoir?

Why is this like a budget?

Let’s say you plan $40 monthly for a haircut. What if you cut your hair yourself? Then you’ll not be needing the $40 that you’ve prepared already and can put it back into your main reservoir. Read more here what could happen if you start doing something along this idea.

Create Power On Demand

A hydropower plant system is like a battery.

You can capture, save, and release energy with it.

Whenever you need some, you simply open the tap and produce instant energy.

In this last step, combine the lessons above and think of water in terms of money and of money in terms of time.

Time is money.

And money can become time again.

The main take-away my kids as well as you should get from this first “financial excursion” is that it’s worth your while spending/ investing some of your time NOW to create your own battery for YOUR life!

The better your system is built, the easier and more fun your life will get.

Trust this post can help you and your loved ones store some money, energy and ultimately time – the most prescious of them all – so you can live more!

If you have kids, consider taking them on this first “financial excursion”.

If you enjoyed this read please don’t forget to subscribe my blog by email, like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter in order to not miss any future “financial excursions”!

Now, have fun doing “financial excursions” with your own kids and please share the idea with your friends and other parents!

Stay curious and have fun exploring,

Matt

Time Bandits

Time is the most valuable asset you got. Do not let anything or anyone steal or ruin it. In our modern world, we’re surrounded by time bandits. Identify them. Sort them out. Live life by design.

No matter if you’re a beggar or a billionaire, we each got the same 24 hours per day. The difference between moving ahead or staying back is simply in how we make use of and invest our time.

Time Bandits – the Monty Python movie.

Time bandits didn’t make history – they stole it!

Make sure you keep them at a safe distance so they don’t steal your potential, to make history.

What are time bandits?

They are those things, activities or people that drain you of your energy and time to leave you back less productive, less focused, and in the end; less happy. For many, time bandits may be what holds us back from going out there and chasing our dreams.

Time bandits come in different forms. Some of them are hard to spot. Others have already taken over your habits. That’s why this post will go in details and attempts to show some ways to dispose of your time bandits in order to increase YOUR chance to financially Imagineering your dream life!

Media

Ever heard the word “media-junkie”? Well, these are people that are hooked up with their media outlets permanently and have trouble letting go. They’ve become addicted to consuming ever more content. Whether or not they do something with the things learned is the big question here.

Media time bandits could be:

  • Watching TV/ Netflix
  • Watching the news
  • Social Media
  • Youtube
  • Video Games

Don’t get me wrong, these things are all good and fun at times.

The problem comes with unintentional overconsumption. Rather than just letting your precious time float away while engaging in any of the above, use media with intention. Watch a certain show with a purpose or target. The goal can be to simply have fun. Engage on social media for staying in touch with people you care about. Watch Youtube to get inspired, entertained or learn something. Play video games to train (not drain) your brain.

Key is to not let any of the above become an unnecessary distractions on your path of life.

What you can do about it is to ignore notifications on social media, pre-define certain times you allow yourself to indulge in media consumption or actively use those channels to get inspired and learn how to create instead of consuming only.

Losing Focus

What is important to you? What would you like to achieve? Did you set yourself certain targets for this week? This month? This year? Your life? If not, go set yourself some goals. If yes, do you believe you’re on track? If not, what are your major obstacles? A key obstacle is not being focused enough.

Focus can be lost by saying YES too often. If you say YES to anyone. To anything. Every. Fucking. Time… then you’re indirectly saying NO to other stuff. Hence, beware of what you commit yourself to and ensure that those things do align with your goals.

You can do anything in life, but not everything.

Life is a trade-off.

You got to choose how you spend your time.

If it’s hard for you to say yes or no: Think of either saying FUCK YEAH or no.

Another way to lose focus is by doing too much multi-tasking. This one is especially terrible. It’s a clusterfuck of wasting time. It usually destroys productivity AND quality. Multi-tasking works for low attention activities or for consuming content such as layering time or listening podcasts.

By multi-tasking, you keep yourself busy. You do this, do that, but eventually nothing that actually matters gets done. Avoid multi-taking if possible. Stop half-assing your life.

The god of multitasking

Learn how to focus.

Perfectionism

The third time bandit is perfectionism. Perfectionism is often used to explain why some stuff hasn’t been done yet. Instead of aiming for perfectionism, aim for making steps into the right direction. Sometimes good enough is good enough. Build momentum. Not getting started or slowing down too much destroys growth and holds back failures that could lead to valuable lessons if learnt earlier on.

Learn how to get started. Keep moving. Keep advancing.

Settle for “good enough” first. If you want to learn how to throw darts, you won’t be reading a manual about it but start by throwing the first dart, then the next one, another one, until you perfectly know how to do it.

Don’t wait. Get started now. Learn by doing.

Procrastinating

Wait? For what? Why delay something if you can do it now? Many people have adopted a habit of doing something tomorrow. By doing so, you actually “allow” yourself validating to waste an entire day before you get started. The usual pattern will extend to this becoming a habit of simply “never getting started”.

At all.

Instead of dreaming, start doing. You will never regret doing something you want to do. Your dreams and thoughts are all nicely stored and comfortable in your head. But it helps nobody if they stay there. The least yourself.

Dreamcatcher

Whatever it is you are dreaming or thinking of, stop putting it off and get started now. Use baby steps if needed but start moving forward.

If you can’t fly, then run.

If you can’t run, then walk.

If you can’t walk, then crawl.

Whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.

Dr. Martin Luther King Junior

Not sure why you’re not taking any action? Write down your dreams and ideas. Do creative brainstorming sessions: (Jacuzzi) Beerstorming if needed – it works for me.

Take note and map out your thoughts. Once you get clearer, start plotting a way, a path and get on your way towards living the life of your dreams. This plan should be inspiring and motivating enough to get started on the spot instead of letting this time bandit rob you of your potential future.

Start living your dreams.

Say Goodbye to Procrastinating.

Negativity

In life you will come across people that carry a certain negativity with them. Some find a problem behind every solution.

Negative people love to complain: Yes, we all feel overwhelmed and not understood sometimes. But instead of falling into this trap, try to find other ways to blow-off steam, relax and digest your life.

Complaining is negative in itself. If you become a negative person you will scare off positive people and may miss out on what they have to offer.

Another form of negativity is worrying.

It’s one of the hardest to self-identify. Being cautious is nothing bad per se. However, worrying is unproductive and wastes your time and energy. Some “worriers” tend to blow imagined dangers completely out of proportion. Worrying and overthinking lead to stress and this in turn prevents action being taken. Stressed people don’t think clearly.

Worry less, don’t overplan.

Things change. So will you.

Instead of surrounding yourself with soul-draining energy vampires, build your own gang of likeminded individuals. Learn how to stay clear or walk away from negative individuals. Form a sanctuary of positivity.

Hard to do?

Read “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson – and become unfuckwithable.

Beware of Time Bandits

Time bandits WILL appear in your life. Identify them early. Allow them only temporarily and let them teach you permanent lessons. Sometimes it’s not about what time steals, but what it leaves behind.

Inhale the good shit. Exhale the bullshit.

Your time or “life energy” is your currency. Don’t let it go to waste or let others steal it. Understand you only live once – Winter is coming. Beware of time bandits. They feed on your energy.

Create an uplifting environment. Release the handbrakes. Time bandits are mostly some form of productivity hurdle. Switch your life into warp-drive. Start testing YOUR engine to its maximum potential.

Live life by design.

Don’t waste time.

Time is life.

Your life.

Don’t let yourself be the reason you don’t succeed in whatever you’re after.

Become a time bandit yourself and steal your own history!

Optimize your time and aim for your own “The 4-Hour Workweek“.

Control your attention and choose your life,

Matt

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