I arrived home three hours later, in darkness. Boy, did that go fast.
It’s easy to feel like your life is on fast forward, especially when you’re having fun and now researchers know why.
When we are in what the Bigwigs call “high approach motivation” meaning we feel like we want to go out an accomplish something, we have a tighter focus and memory. When we are in this state – which excitement and desire can bring on – we are able to shut out irrelevant thoughts and feelings and give greater attention to the moment.
During dinner with the girls we were talking about fun and interesting things. I was engaged in the conversation and also receiving helpful input and support. That inspired me, got me excited, and the evening slipped by.
When we are engaged in the pursuit of something important and meaningful – a la connection, in my case — time really does seem to pass more quickly. This perception, say psychological scientists Phillip Gable and Bryan Pool, of the University of Alabama, who investigated the phenomena, may help us persevere to achieve greater goals, as well as help us hone our focus long enough to satisfy our basic survival needs for things like food, water, companionship.
Thing is, many of us get so caught up in the day-to-day routine, that we spend much of our time feeling stuck in a rut. Ever been in a meeting that seemed to take for-ev-er, though it only lasted 30 minutes? Yes, when you are feeling caught, blocked, unmotivated, time seems to drag. The secret then is to move closer to the elusive state of flow where time flies. You can do this by having more fun and adding more meaning to your life.
It isn’t hard. I’ll tell you how to do it in Wednesday’s post.