7. April 2017
Time flies by … slowly
t cannot be owned, and yet it is one of our most valuable assets: time.
According to Albert Einstein, time is “what you measure with a clock.” A legitimate definition, as we use time to orchestrate our everyday lives. However, we lack the ability to be able to assess time objectively.
How we perceive time is a matter of perspective. On the one hand, we have the time, which is perceived at the current moment, and then there is the time of which is defined in memories. Experts call this phenomenon “subjective sense of time”. What we feel inside is decisively determined externally.
The subjective perception of time is a very paradoxical issue. On an average working day, time generally seems to pass slowly, but in retrospect, time spent doing daily routines often passes rapidly. Our vacation usually is over way too quickly, but looking back the days in a foreign country can seem endless.
The latter effect has been looked at more closely by an Israeli researcher: Tourists retrospectively perceived the first days of their vacation – marked by new impressions – as particularly long. The final days, when they tended to fall into routines, seemed much shorter to the holidaymakers. This means that when we experience something new, at that very moment time passes very quickly. However, when we recall all these events, that time is perceived as very long one because of the abundance of events and impressions we gathered. Correspondingly, the effect with respect to the remaining vacation works vice versa.
And what is true for holidays also applies to our everyday lives: as we grow older, we tend to become less open to new things. And this is exactly where we need a change of attitude. If you want to get of the feeling that time is slipping away, you should try new things more often. Because the more new – and above all the more emotional – memories we collect, the longer a period is in retrospect. Meaning: Be active, be brave, be open, and you extend your life – at least subjectively.