A few weeks ago a client was talking to me about how time seemed to be passing so quickly but not only for him as he reflected his younger years. He mentioned that his teenage daughters were experiencing this sensation as well. He commented that when he was that age he felt like he had all the time in the world. Time seemed to pass more slowly so he asked me my view on why our perception of time seems to be changing.
It is certainly true that we live in a much faster-paced world than we did thirty or forty years ago. And technology and our need to adapt along with it is causing things to change at a faster pace than ever before. Our access to information is changing the pace of everything from politics, to how we learn, to our access to entertainment. Our attention is being pulled in so many directions. All these things make time seem like it is passing more quickly. But there is another thing to consider. How much time do we spend in the present? In a fast-paced world, we are constantly looking forward. Even when we are not we are multitasking between texting a friend or colleague and making a meal or stopped at the traffic light while driving.
Our moments are quickly captured on our digital devices and as we scan through our social media account our attention quickly jumps from one thing to the next. We simply do not spend much time on this moment. The period of time that we are actually living in. Life is so filled with things pulling us forward from one moment to the next that we don’t take the time to just observe and contemplate. Our minds are racing with so much information; so many details to keep track of. This, in my view, is why time seems to be passing so quickly even for the youngest generations. Even children’s lives are being filled with activities and technology changing the pace of their lives in ways that most of us did not experience at such a young age.
If the pace of life feels too fast for you and time seems to be passing too quickly there is something you can do. Shut off your mobile phone or leave it at home sometimes when you go out. Take time for the simple things like enjoying a meal without distractions and walking through nature. Meditate daily. Really engage someone in a conversation and listing closely to everything they are saying. Anything that brings you more in the present without distraction will slow things down and make them feel more manageable. These are the moments where you will also find your happiness.