Take Risks To Live Longer

by Zach Briggs

On August 22, 2012 I became a professional programmer. I spent the 7 years before that as a Direct Mail Analyst doing repetitive, familiar, nonthreatening work in Lancaster, OH. I lost those 7 years in the blink of an eye.

The last 10 months, though. The last 10 joyous months feel like they've lasted 10 years. 

I started thinking about that perception of time when introduced to the Time Hack Project.  Matt Danzico spent a year trying new experiences to fool his brain into thinking that he was living longer. The reasoning is that we perceive time moving more slowly when trying something new and experience time moving more quickly when engaged in familiar tasks.

Interesting, but I think that we can take a look at this from a different angle. What if we use that perception of time as an alarm? "In Case of Lost Time Break Glass" When May goes by in the blink of an eye, that's a warning flag. When a year disappears on us, that's a klaxon. That's our brain shutting the hell down because we're not throwing anything challenging its way. There is no need for us to pay attention when there are only safe, boring tasks for it to work on.

Maybe when years start to evaporate wholesale then that's a sign that we should start making a change. If I had that insight 7 years ago then maybe I could have avoided sleeping through the better part of my 20's.
It's too late for that chapter of my life, but I'm sure as hell awake now.