Time is relative —
and who better to know that than Albert Einstein, who said,
“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”
This concept affects us in virtually everything we do.
You need an unpleasant medical procedure, like a root canal. An appointment is scheduled a few weeks out. So, why is it that the days prior to the appointment fly by; yet, once you’re firmly planted in the chair, the minutes can’t move fast enough?
Your dream vacation, 14 days in a tropical paradise, is approaching in two weeks. Waiting to get on the plane takes “forever.” However, once you land, you know those exact same 14 days will shoot by at light-speed.
This fluidity boils down to a simple, twisted fact:
The more we want something, the longer it takes to get here and the faster it zips by. As a corollary, the more we want to avoid something, the quicker it shows up and the longer it remains.
Referencing the previous examples, since I really, really want to be in Hawaii, the wait-time to experience it is long-drawn-out. Yet, in a cruel twist of fate, since I don’t want to leave once I’m there, the time on vacation dissipates very quickly.
On the other hand, because I would do virtually anything to avoid being subjected to a dental drill, that appointment approaches more rapidly. However, since I so want to bolt from the dental chair, the period in which it holds me hostage slows to a crawl.
The concept of time’s flexibility is not new.
Though understanding it can make a significant impact on how to change one’s habits.