January 3rd, 2012

Does Time Really Fly?

By Lee Brower

Have you ever been so tired driving home late at night and you pull into your driveway, turn off the car and then realize with great terror that you don’t even remember driving home? You remember leaving… and you remember arriving—but, you don’t remember the journey.

Have you ever said, “Jeez… is it Christmas already? We just had Christmas.”? You remember last Christmas and you remember this Christmas… but, you don’t remember much in between. Time just flies… Or, does it?

I have talked to many people who have experienced moments where time is virtually going in very slow motion. Years ago, I was driving a van through a dangerous winter storm. As I maneuvered through a somewhat sharp mountain curve at what I thought was a very safe speed, I felt the van take on a life of its own. The rear of the van was suddenly passing me up traction-less on a thin sheet of invisible black ice – and there was nothing I could do about it! I remember the children asleep in the back and as the van slid sideways catching the shoulder of the road it began to tip.

As the van started its roll, I remember reaching around behind me to stabilize the cradle of our sleeping 6 month old baby boy and then placing my hand on his chest so as we turned upside down he would be somewhat protected. Luckily for us, except for a few stitches and some minor bruising, we escaped relatively unscathed.

I am sure the ordeal was over – start to finish – in a matter of seconds. However, for me it was in slow motion. I remember every fraction of a second; my attention was riveted on the smallest and most important details and even though I couldn’t do much, my mind had time to consider every possibility in that situation. I was able to do more in less time. Time truly was in slow motion.

In order to slow time down, I am learning that I must learn to be present. My attention needs to be focused on those activities that mean the most to me and consequently produce the greatest results. Then, I must CAPTURE the experience!

Several years ago at the behest of Dan Sullivan and The Strategic Coach, we initiated a process of doing a Positive Focus at the beginning of every staff meeting. This is now a tradition that commences every meeting we have whether with staff, family, or clients. The first time we did it several of our team had a tough time thinking of a positive experience since the last time we met. They could think of plenty of negative happenings, but the positive seemed very difficult.

However, once successfully completed and knowing that we were beginning a tradition, they found themselves actually looking for positive experiences. This process of capturing and then sharing the experience created more value for them in terms of how they were spending their time. They actually became proactively looking for achievements which had a direct impact on results and attitudes. And, they are doing more in less time.

By capturing these positive experiences, when we get to the end of the year – it no longer seems like it just flew by. The years seem abundant and full and we are no longer musing about how fast time flies… Rather, we are celebrating how much we accomplished in just on year. Time does not have to be measured in minutes, hours, or days rather by measuring time in terms of achievements we truly can slow time down.


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