That’s what we’re all after, isn’t it? Doesn’t it feel like the days and weeks and months just march on by, faster and faster. Time is arguably our most valuable resource and we never seem to have enough of it. I came across an article on the blog Lifehacker (read it here) that talks about why time seems to speed up as we age.
The science behind our perception of time is that as we do the same thing repeatedly our brains take less and less notice of what’s happening. Our brains require less effort to complete that task and therefore doesn’t need to record as much information. It’s why childhood felt like a lifetime, because we were constantly experiencing and learning new things that our brains had to take full inventory of. It’s why car crashes or near death experiences seem to slow time down, because our brains work at full capacity to take everything in and figure out how to escape with minimal harm.
The reason our days and years seem to shorten up as we get older is simply this: our entire physical body, brain included, is simply going through the motions. There’s nothing in our lives that are requiring the brain to soak information up and pay attention. If you’re anything like me, that’s a scary thought. 2013 is already more than half over and I can remember New Years like it was yesterday, I’ve now been married for two months that felt, literally like two weeks. I’m going through the motions, and my perception of time is showing me that I’m not doing anything to cause my brain to slow time down.
What if we dedicated time every week to trying or learning something new, something to stimulate our brains to process more information than they are now in our typical work week rut? I think that’s a challenge that we owe to ourselves and to our communities. Put effort into new things that might just awake a passion in you that you never knew existed.