How often do you say “Time flies.” Or “It is already the end of August. The year is nearly over.” Most people feel time flies.
Life passes us like one blur. When people say that time flies, I ask them, “What have you achieved this year?” When we stop and think, we realise that we actually achieved a lot. One of the reasons of time flying by is because we just keep going without stopping. Much of our thoughts are either in our past or future. We keep on going, because we trying to achieve a future goal. Or we are still dwelling on something painful from our past. If we want to “slow down” time, or at least feel that time is not speeding by, we need to become more conscious of the present and what we are doing right now.
My 11 year old son asked me the other day “Why do fun things pass by so quickly and boring things take for ever?” We can answer this question when we become aware of how we behave when we are bored. We constantly stop to look at the time and we are very aware of how we are feeling in that moment.
If we want pleasant moments to last longer, we should do the same. We should stop and become aware how we are feeling in this moment. We should stop to look at the clock and realise how long we have been enjoying ourselves. We could say to ourselves, “This is really great! I am having a wonderful time!” Adding movement and emotion anchors the experience strongly into our memory. When we do this, we are “slowing down time.”
Part of this process is to celebrate our achievements. What we often do, is we complete a task and then look for the next one, instead of enjoying the completion of
our current one first, before we move on. I have a sister, who often says “Do you remember how nice …. was?” She dwells on those nice moments. I used to think it was stupid, until I tried it for myself. I discovered that every time I revisit a pleasant memory, I feel great all over again.
This doesn’t mean that we have to boast to others about our achievements. We can do it for ourselves. We can complement ourselves or we talk to somebody who agrees with us. I am not suggesting to spend hours in our past. Just a few minutes here of there is already enough. Imagine that store our happiness into Happiness Bank Account. Every time we experience something nice, we make a deposit and negative experiences are like a withdrawal.
When life is hard and draining, revisiting pleasant memories will put money back into our Happiness Bank Account. This way we are stretching those pleasant experiences out, without watering them down. Life becomes more pleasant.
The successes that we revisit don’t have to be major, like finding a new job. I did it the other day with something small. In the last five years I have been watching TV with a bad signal, while using an indoor antenna. It caused frustration and last week I had had enough. We got somebody to install an antenna on the roof. I caught myself wanting to move on to the next project without celebrating this success.
That is when I decided to consciously celebrate this success. How did I do it? Every now and then I would switch on the TV during the day, and look at all the channels and enjoy the snow free signal. It would take me less than a minute, but it made me really feel good. This is how I strongly anchored this success in my mind.
What have you achieved this week?
How could you celebrate your success?