2024 June 25 Slow down the clock and see life

Jun 25, 2024

Hi, this is Jim Cranston from 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com, the podcast and website about reimagining your life.  Thanks for joining me today to talk about time. If you like what you hear today, please leave a like, subscribe, tell your friends, and send me a message.


Thanks for joining me tonight to talk about the subtleties of time. Einstein said that time was relative. That's true, but I think it's even more flexible than even Einstein thought. Everything in our lives only exists to each one of us because we decide to acknowledge it and make it part of our reality. 


What do I mean by that? You might be saying time is one of those basic dimensions. How many dimensions are there? It used to be thought that there were three dimensions. There's left/right, up/down, behind you and in front of you. Then that expanded to four because it included time. There's all the time and space right now, and then there's the time and space in a second from now.  


Well, the current count is that there are likely at least ten different dimensions. Personally, I happen to feel there are probably an infinite number of dimensions, but that, and its ramifications, are a topic for another whole day.


But back to time. Remember when we were little, how long each day seemed? There was so much to do before breakfast, and then after you ate, there was the whole long morning. There's stuff to do all the time, and you could pack a ton of stuff into a day.


Sometimes it seemed to go too quickly—but sometimes very slowly for something you weren't interested in. Each day usually seemed to be jam-packed with new things to do that kept us engaged.  Then we went to school. Kindergarten was kind of fun, but then came real school, and our whole world changed.


Time took on a whole new almost sinister dimension. Our whole life became determined by that silly clock on the wall. It didn't matter if we wanted a snack or had to use the restroom. It was a great day to be outside. Suddenly, every minute of the day was accounted for.  Plus, the clock's good friend, the calendar, made sure to keep track of all the days in the year and decide when we could do what, when holidays were, and everything else!


Between the two of them, they controlled our entire life. Suddenly, our whole world changed. Instead of doing something to maximize pleasure or knowledge, we became focused on doing something in the allotted amount of time—or even worse, to fill the allotted time doing something that wasn't interesting. 


Then as we grew up, not only was our own present being controlled by that abstract dimensional time, the present expanded to include going into the future, not to mention we should think about the past. We have all these things related to time.  Dr. Benjamin Hardy proposes that there's no such thing as the future or the past, that there's only the present. 


Those other concepts, the future and the past—they're really determined by how we decide to interpret and view our memories of the past and how we decide to envision the future. Merging those concepts with our modern-day fascination of making the most of our time brings us to this interesting point in our perception.


Many of us spend our days preparing for the future by doing things we find ungratifying, or we are driven by lessons from the past that may or may not be relevant. In all of that, we completely overlook what's going on right now in the present. I'm sure you've heard some version of the saying that, as you get older, the days go slowly and the years pass quickly.


That is simply us not paying attention to the present. It's as simple as that. When we should be enjoying a pretty flower, we're instead thinking that we have five minutes to get home to get on that telephone call. Instead of spending time with our kids or grandkids, we're planning for their future.  This isn't to say we should live like a leaf blowing in the breeze—although sometimes that may be appropriate—it's about keeping a balance in all things. 


Let's go back to that nonlinear time. What's up with that? Well, if we're always looking at what to do next and ignoring what we have already accomplished, suddenly life as a whole just goes zipping by because there's nothing to ground us in the present. 


This isn't about mindfulness per se, but that is a part of it. It is just recognizing that every minute of the day is just as precious now that you're older as when you were a child.  Think about what's going on around you right this second. Hopefully you're paying attention— listening to this podcast, maybe something is going on in the next room, maybe a car is driving by, whatever it is.


You hear the TV on. What are they actually saying?  If you're on the highway going somewhere, pay attention. Are the people in the cars interesting? Are there billboards that are interesting? Is it a pretty sunset that's happening right now?  Pay attention to what's going on. 


Even the people in your life—think of how you can be close to them and make them smile. Making them smile doesn't necessarily mean doing something fun for them. You can either make it a problem that they brought you something to do or an opportunity to bring some joy into their life.  These and a million other things are ways we can put the brakes on time, on life just flying by. Make the days interesting and no longer endless. It's funny how those two perceptions happen together. 


It's exactly why vacations tend to be so special. They're different, so we pay attention, and our days are filled with interesting things. Every night, we have things to remember and talk about, then afterwards, we have the memories of the vacation lingering long after it's over, and we have conversations with people about them. What's different? Time still continues to move. It could have been two weeks of work or two weeks of just hanging around the house—not doing anything, watching TV, whatever—but those two weeks are fun. It's because we made them interesting.  


Remember, we create much of our own reality. We can make every day special in some way to slow our lives down. Every day, you get the chance to see things that make life interesting, learn new things, bring joy into the world, and consciously make your own reality. That reality doesn't have to be what society wants, or what your friends say you should be doing, or anything else. 


Your reality can simply be to treasure life and enjoy those treasures in every single way possible.  I think you'll find that suddenly the days seem different and memorable. They won't whiz by in a blur, another season or even another year just silently slipping by. 


In today's fast paced world, this phenomena is happening to younger and younger people as well. It's not an old age thing. It's simply paying attention to what's going on in your life and what's going on around you. It sounds simple, and at one level, it really is. But it does take some dedication to not get into this comfortable routine and miss all the reasons you're here. 


That's it for the evening. I hope you found some ideas of ways to make life a lot more interesting, and are able to try and make some small changes to recognize the new and interesting things that are going around you all the time, even the people in our lives—everything.  If you just pay attention, look for the good, and remember to celebrate the wins and successes that make a moment so special.


I think you'll find that, overall, things will be a lot more fun and more memorable, and just a lot more pleasant. By being more aware of life, we can change the dynamic that so many people find themselves racing through life with no destination and missing out on all that joy. We have the power to change that perception. We have the power to control it.  


Your homework (always optional) is to bring a little paper or pad with you the next time you go out. Personally, I'm a big fan of actually writing something down rather than typing it on the phone. It uses a lot more of your brain; it really gets in your head better. When you can, write down a few fun or interesting things that you saw or heard. You may have to work to actually notice something. Be aware of the things going around you. Before you write it down, make sure it's something that you actually paid attention to. This should make the days a lot more memorable. Extra points if you save your notes. In a week or two, look at a couple of the old notes to remind yourself of what you found interesting on that day.  Close your eyes and remember for a second.  This will help slow down the weeks and the years. That's it for the evening. 


Please remember the wars going on in many places in the world. Israel, Palestine, Ukraine. There's stuff going on in Kenya now. It's just non-stop. All these people are in a bad way. Think about them. If you can, make a donation to one of the groups helping them. The World Central Kitchen (WCK.org) is a great group to support.


Anything you do to help somebody else is good! If you can donate monetarily, that's great. If you can't, just make somebody's life nicer. Smile at them. Make their day a little more fun. Remember, one of the best ways to care for yourself is to care for others. It changes your perspective on the world, puts you more in touch with everyone else. So if you can and you're able, please check it out. For Ukraine, you can visit UKR7.com. Just make somebody smile. 


As always, thank you for stopping by. If you found something interesting or useful, please pass it along. Please subscribe, hit that like button. If not, please drop me a comment as to what you'd like to hear. Have a great week. Remember to live the life that you dreamed of because that's the path to true contentment. A lot of encouragement to everyone. See you next week on 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com. Thank you. 

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