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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!