It is often said, the older we get, the faster time moves.
When I was younger, my days were extremely long. It seemed like I could play outside forever. I slept like a baby for hours and I never felt tired.
But as I started to age into adulthood, I started to find truth in that saying.
I’ve finally settled into a great job, surrounded by amazing people, and I get paid pretty well. Things couldn’t be going any better.
Except for one piece of minutiae.
Time is rapidly passing me by, and I can’t seem to control it. I can’t slow it down. Each day is like the last.
I wake up, go to work, go to the gym, and eventually retire to bed. My day used to be filled with such vibrancy and life in my younger days.
Where did it all go?
I’ve preached routine pretty heavily in the past. Fact is, I still love routine. I love habits because it makes life smoother. Whether you love it or hate it, habits are a natural thing that everyone subscribes to, controlling every thought and action.
But when we begin to fall into a routine, time starts to zoom past us. Eventually we find ourselves old, grey and filled with regrets.
Time is finite. It can’t be slowed or sped up. Only our perception determines the speed of time.
As far as I understand in the short life I’ve lived, we can’t control the flow of time. But I’m starting to realize, it is never as bleak as it sounds.
Like everything, the perception of time falls under a spectrum.
When we stare at the clock or do something we absolutely hate, time completely slows down. Sometimes it even looks like time is going backwards.
But when we do something we enjoy, time speeds up, leaving our enjoyable moments short-lived.
Understanding our lives realistically, we all have commitments and responsibilities to family, work and alike.
I’d love to say, quit everything and follow your passion! As much as that’s put out in the personal development world, it doesn’t work from the get-go.
We will go broke; creditors will chase us for our debts, take our house and we would eventually die a horrible death.
Somewhere in the middle of the spectrum lies the answer.
We can’t live at either end of spectrum. We cannot spend too much time doing the things we hate—dead end job, meaningless meetings and outings—else we will be miserable and depressed, constantly living for other peoples’ schedules.
And we cannot always do the things we love because how do we provide for our families and ourselves.
The middle ground is a gentle balance between the opposite poles. It is providing for the family with a job you may have to work and doing something you love every single day.
And the most important requirement for the middle to be fulfilling is making your day extraordinary.
Every day is ordinary if we allow it to be. When we choose ordinary, we relinquish our personal power. We tell the people around us that we’ve given up our zest for life.
But when we choose to harness that inner fire, make a switch and elevate each day with more presence, appreciation and action, we add that little extra.
That little extra makes our days stupendous and interesting. Time doesn’t slow down, but our perception of time begins to slow. We begin to love, appreciate and cherish each moment for the value it brings—a job to support a family, a passion to feel fulfilled, and interactions that help, change and influence people.
That little extra is the barrier that we all have to strive for each day. Without that little extra effort and work, our days will be filled with the meaningless ordinary.
Everyone has immense personal power. But we often squander it, relinquish it, believing that these are the cards we’ve been dealt and change isn’t possible.
But as we start to understand this power, we can begin to harness it and slow down our lives, making it more powerful.
For me, I never want to be at my deathbed, look back and see all the wasted ordinary moments, knowing that extraordinary was just around the corner.