A few months ago, before I sold all my stuff and started traveling full-time, I read an article that told me I could grow younger. Having encountered tall claims of elixirs and fountains of youth (mostly in the RPGs I played :P), I was skeptical. However, the article did make a lot of sense.
Have you ever wondered why it is, that when you think back to your childhood days it seems like you had a lot of time on your hands ? There were these long periods when you just felt bored out of your mind and would look for things to do. Why are all those childhood experiences so rich and detailed in your mind ? Yet, nowadays it seems like every day just flashes by and it’s all a blur. When you think back to what you did last week at work it’s like every day was quick (even though you’re at work right now and time seems to go by oh-so-slowly..), you can’t really remember what you ate at work last Wednesday (even if it was really great and satisfying) but you do remember that amazing Sunday lunch at home from your childhood.
On the other hand when you think back to your vacations from last year, you find that those 9 days were really long and filled with a lot of fun, new conversations and new experiences. You can remember every taste, every detail, every color. It’s amazing how much we remember and how much we forget.
It so happens that as we age, our mind’s ability to chronicle our days reduces due to the repetitive nature of each day. This causes the effect of looking back and feeling like every day, week, and year went by faster and faster. Routine makes your mind go into ‘auto’ mode and this basically narrows your perception of time considerably. So at the end of every year you will say “Oh my! The year went by and just yesterday was new years eve!”. It sometimes comes to a point where you wonder “What did I do last year on my birthday ?”
Subjecting our mind to new and novel experiences again and again will cause that childhood like time dilation where every day and every moment stretches itself out. This is because our mind has to work harder to absorb all the new sights, sounds, tastes and emotions!
Of-course, time doesn’t really change it’s speed at all, it’s our perception of it that changes. But when you look back, you will find that every experience has been richly stamped in your mind, just because it was new and awesome!
As far as I’m concerned, that’s good enough! If I can live 10 years worth of experiences in the next few months, BRING IT ON!
I’m 2 weeks into my travels and to be honest, I feel like time has slowed down a lot! Every day is rich and endless. It’s beautiful and there are so many moments to hold on to, and now I can!
Update: Professor Pi has done an interesting writeup about how time speeds up with age. According to his figures, you have completed about 55% of your life by age 10 and over 75% of your life by age 30 (in terms of perceived time!). All the more reason to fill your life with new experiences every day!