When you hurry, times always flies so fast. You’re looking at the clock to see what time it is. Then you do it again for what seems like a minute. But wait, what? Holy crap, 10 minutes have just passed. What the hell?
By contrast, when you know you’ve got all the time in the world, time seems to slow down. Just try to take an hour doing specifically nothing, and witness how slow the clock ticks.
I don’t need to elaborate further, I know 100% of you reading this can relate to that.
One day I was late for an appointment. I was supposed to leave my house 40 minutes before but, for some reason, I actually left the house only 20 minutes before.
You know what happened next.
Once in the car, all the elements of nature seemed to align against my arriving on time. It seemed like all the slow drivers went out of their way to form a line in front of me and drive around at the slowest pace legally possible.
I could swear the traffic lights conspired to turn red every single time I’d be approaching them. I could have sworn people crashed their cars against each other on purpose so the jam from the accident would slow me down.
And the minutes flew by so fast.
Of course, I arrived late at my appointment. On the way back (a mere hour after), I could have driven through a ghost town it wouldn’t have changed how long it took me to go back home. Other people drove intelligently and swiftly. No road blocks or any accident on my way. I cannot even tell if I ever saw a red light.
And the minutes went by so slowly.
It seemed like hurrying up not only aligned the elements against me, but that it also made the clock tick faster.
Ok, you might think “Come on, this is just a coincidence.”
Then why does it happen all the time?
Some will say it’s just a psychological effect. That it’s just our relative perception of time. That, since we’re so focused on all the things that can go wrong and we’re late, we lose our focus on time and this is what makes it pass faster. That makes sense.
But, why does it happens even when I’m aware of it? Besides, maybe my perception of time is skewed, but how about all the other elements that come interfering along the way? It can’t be my perception that’s skewed, when on the way to the appointment I get 90% of red lights and then only 10% on my way back home.
So why does this happen in the first place?
The (pseudo) scientific viewpoint
I’m going to make a bold claim: you have the ability to influence your reality, i.e the physical world around you, depending on the mindset you choose to adopt or happen to find yourself in.
We don’t know for sure. You know, time and space, along with how our brain truly works and how it perceives time and reality… We still haven’t figured them out yet. Far from it.
Have you heard about the double slit experiment? It’s a scientific experiment that has mesmerizing implications.
Watch this fantastic video that explains it marvelously well:
If you’re curious about this experiment, I highly recommend these 2 videos by PBS Spacetime: The Quantum Experiment that Broke Reality and How the Quantum Eraser Rewrites the Past. They’re a little more complicated to understand than the one embedded above but they’re nonetheless fascinating and mind-boggling.
This following part is decidedly less scientific but I believe that not only reality is created by observing it, but we also can—and do consciously or not—influence it.
Reality is what you make it. So, by being in the mindset of hurry, you effectively collapse the wave function to the reality of things going wrong and time flying by so fast. Just like negative people always seem to witness negative things. Paranoid people always seem to end up right: they inevitably find somebody trying to screw them up.
Although there’s obviously a strong psychological factor playing too (and I’ll get to it right after), I’m convinced it’s more than that. Self-fulfilling prophecies are more than just mental; they always become reality.
The Psychological viewpoint
Even if you don’t buy into my pseudo-scientific way of seeing things, there’s also a rather simple psychological effect happening too.
When you’re in hurry mode, it’s like you are wearing blinkers. You get tunnel vision. And this causes you to be less aware of your environment. This in turn makes you less aware of opportunities. For instance, maybe you could have taken an alternate, faster route. But being so obsessed by arriving on time you never took the time to consider this possibility.
Just like people who believe the world is against them will always find it’s the case, because they will subconsciously focus on all the negative things happening around them and tend to leave all the rest unnoticed.
Focus creates reality. If you focus on good things, you will see them. If you focus on negative things, you will see them too. What you’ll see the most of, and thus defining your reality, is what you’ll choose to focus on.
That’s why when you focus on the clock that ticks, minutes will pass so fast.
Another thing to consider is that, in reality, you cannot control 95% of the things that come into play when say, you want to be on time. Since your timing depends mostly on external factors you have no control over, the 5% in your control has no effect whatsoever on your timing. In my example situation, all the efforts to speed things up have a negligible impact on the outcome (you can’t control traffic).
Don’t hurry and don’t worry
In the same fashion, you should try your best not to worry about most of the things going on in your life. Remember the no worry diagram:
If you want more time to do things, simply take it. Don’t run after it. If you’re already late, no need to hurry, it won’t make you travel back in time. And if you’re just short on time, hurrying will only make it pass faster, while making you stressed and therefore less effective.
So, don’t hurry. It is pointless.