Time is a funny concept. Have you ever considered what time actually is? Don’t bother pointing to your nearest clock — all that watches and such are good for is representing our concept of time and allowing the world to somewhat function on an organized schedule.
You cannot tell me that time is the movement of an aluminum pointer from one digit to another on a flat, usually circular, surface. That sort of definition of time has no benefit. Many of us hold the belief that time is a constant thing that cannot be slowed, sped-up or stopped — many of us are wrong.
According to the most prominent theories in quantum physics, time is a relevant concept — not the constant that we believe it to be. If this sounds suspect to you, you may find it even more surprising to hear that you experience this fluctuation in your experience of time each and every day.
All of you have experienced time differently on different occasions. One hour of playing pool with your friends will fly by while an hour of waiting in line at the DMV can seem like an eternity. The way that you experience time is just as real — if not more real — than the time told by a wrist-piece or your iPhones.
What time really is — as far as in the only capacity that it matters to the masses — is the interval between your thoughts. The shorter the interval between each of your consecutive thoughts, the slower your perception of time becomes.
The larger the gap between one conscious thought and the next, the faster time seems to be passing by. If you are dreading whatever position you are in, constantly thinking about how awful your situation is and considering different ways of escaping, then time will seem to you to be rather sluggish.
If you are either keeping yourself physically busy or are simply enjoying life, then sadly life will seem to you like nothing more than a blink of the eye (on a side note — there seems to be something almost poetic about this: those that live life to the fullest are given the shortest amount of time, while those that are miserable are given an eternity to wallow in it).
There is, thankfully, a way to not only enjoy your life, but also have it last — from your perspective — for a long time: live in the moment. Thoughts take many different forms. They are not only your ideas and beliefs; they are also your perceptions. The majority of us, especially those living in developed countries, have a tendency to coast through life with minimal comprehension of their surroundings.
You can try to put the blame on the newest electronics and trending technologies, but the truth is that no one is forcing you to spend your entire day with your eyes glued to your computer screen or your fingers glued to your cellphone — you are choosing to do so.
These habits, like drugs, form addictions. Once upon a time I was an avid weed smoker myself, I can vouch that the kind of detachment sought after by those that smoke is now being dished out to the masses by the latest iGadget app. Marijuana just gets the job done faster and adds muscle relaxation to the mix.
Generation-Y — you spend so much time trying to keep your minds busy and trying to get through your unpleasant work-week, or unpleasant school-week or unpleasant whatever-have-you week, that you don’t realize that you are throwing away the most precious gift that you have: time. If you want to be happy then you cannot ignore your senses. The world is constantly moving, changing around you.
Different sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch sensations are continuously being received by all of your sensation receptors. Whether or not you are making an effort to actually experience the world around you is another question entirely. Right now, wherever you are or whatever you are doing, all five senses are at work. Take a second to experience the world around you.
Feel the pressure of your chair or couch against your thighs. Smell the slight crispness in the air from the snow that is falling outside. Look at all the little things — all the little details around you, all things that you have not taken the time to notice. Does your mouth still have a slight tinge of the coffee you had this morning?
This is what living is all about — experiencing the simplicity, beauty and unwavering complexity of the world around us. There is no need to constantly bombard our senses with music, video games or other mind exercises. Yes, in moderation all these things can be rather helpful, not to mention fun.
But take it from someone that once thought that the best way to live life is by filling it with as much activity and as much “stuff” as humanly possible: it will make you miserable. How often had you experienced something that you consider to be one of the most important or most memorable experiences in your life and wished that the experience could have lasted longer? Well, it could have.
When we become excited or find ourselves ensconced in a pleasing activity, we become so overwhelmed by the pleasure and enjoyment that we are feeling, that we don’t take the time to pause what we are doing and simply bask in the sea of bliss being produced by the experience itself.
Living in the moment is not about allowing happiness to carry you away on a cloud of ecstasy — although, that is part of it. Living in the moment is realizing the moment that you are in when you are experiencing something worth remembering.
Next time you come across a moment in your life when you feel at peace, when you feel happy — whether it be a night out with your friends, making love to your significant other, or enjoying a stroll alone on a sunny afternoon — allow yourself to process all the information being sent to your brain from all five senses. Take in as much detail as you possibly can about everything you see, hear, smell, taste and feel at that exact moment. Your life is a story. Beauty lies in the details.
Paul Hudson | Elite.
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