Don’t get me wrong; in spite of the title of this article, I’m all in favour of physical fitness. Barring catastrophic circumstances, having good health will certainly extend your life expectancy. The mystery is whether or not having these extra years equates to a longer life from a psychological standpoint.
In this context, I don’t believe that adding more years automatically makes your life longer. You don’t measure your life by the number of revolutions you’ve made around this Sun; this is merely an arbitrary marker used to quantify time. But what is time?
No evidence can prove that time physically exists outside of our own minds. It’s ingrained in the way we think and perceive but it never interacts with any material (like a chair or a person) or immaterial (such as gravity or magnetism) physical phenomenon. Einstein’s theory of special relativity tells us that time dilates and contracts in relation to speed. That is, if you’re travelling at the speed of light, people going at Earth’s regular orbital speed would think you’re frozen in time. However, from your own perception, you’d be going about your day with time moving just as it always did. You’d have infinitely more time than you’d ever have before, yet you wouldn’t even notice it.
But you don’t need to be zooming through galaxies in order to experience the psychological aspect of time. Remember the last time you were all anxious and in a hurry, watching your watch tick excruciatingly slowly while waiting in a line or stuck in traffic? Compare that to a time when you were just having a blast and the hours just seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. How can these two blocks of time be quantified as equal when one felt so much longer than the other?
An even more intriguing case is the how the years seem to get shorter as we grow older. Why does childhood feel so much longer and memorable than the later years? Oddly enough, this relates back to what I wrote about in my post on natural vision improvement.
When we’re children, we’re naturally curious. We want to learn more about the new and mysterious world; thus, we “take in” more of our life. As we age, things become routine. We ignore parts of our lives because we’ve grown accustomed to them. If time is psychological, then it can only be truly measured in the events we perceive. Our internal timeline of events is much sparser when we’re adults compared to when we’re children, and as a result, time feels shorter.
So how can you stretch your psychological time and live a longer life? I believe the key is leading a more engaging and memorable lifestyle. Of course, there’s more to our lives than what we remember, or else time would pass by in a flash. Every event that shapes us takes root in our subconscious mind; even if we can’t recall something directly, it may have still embedded itself into our character.
However, that’s not to say that every moment counts. Unless there’s something special happening, something the subconscious mind would find important enough to take note of, the time will slip away like sand in your fingers. You might be incredibly healthy and live to the tender age of ninety, but if you did the same things day-in and day-out, could you truly appreciate all the time that’s gone by?
Did you say no? As hypocritical as this may sound, I actually think the answer could be yes. There’s a loophole in psychological time, and it’s the reason why I think it’s possible to “live longer without being healthier” and why I bolded the world “memorable” a couple paragraphs up.
If the length of our lives is determined by our internal timeline of events, what if we trained our minds to remember more? Following this line of reasoning, somebody with a photographic memory would theoretically be able to live an almost infinitely long life. Although there’s no evidence of such a person ever existing, many people have trained their memories to incredible extents. With correct practice, memory improvement is absolutely achievable, regardless of your age or IQ. If a normal person were to greatly improve their memory, could they “cheat” psychological time and live longer? I don’t know, but I’d love to find out.
This is one of the two reasons why I’m fascinated with memory training (the other being that I don’t like studying). If you want to learn some cool strategies to drastically improve your memory, please check out my free report, Brain Blast! in the downloads section.