speed – the hunt for lost time

One thing gets us all is stress. We have managed to automate everything, the world is pretty much on auto-pilot and yet we feel we have less time. Florian Opitz made a pretty good film “speed – the hunt for lost time” about the phenomenon of things going faster and the co-existent lack of time. There are quite a few inputs from the people he meets during his research and the course of the film… as you can imagine, I got my own theory. I reckon that there are 2 main elements to being stressed out.

1/ Choice – There is too much choice in our lives. In his book “The 4-hour work week” Tim Ferries shares that he thinks following the news is pointless unless they actually concern you. Surely what’s going on in Ukraine is terrible and it’s important to know that it is happening, but following each and every latest development and worrying about it? What are you going to do to make a difference (unless you’re Didier Burkhalter and actually can contribute). Even in our personal lives there are too many things happening. There is a gazillion of things you can do in your spare time… there you are stressed again, who says we have to do all of them? Every option is a decision you have to make. More options, more decisions, more stress.

2/ Acceleration – Everything always goes faster and further. Do we have to do everything that is technically possible? Our biorhythms give us a certain rhythm… surely it can be stretched either way to some degree. But do we have to read e-mails on the CrackBerry at 4am (which brings me back to what you’re going to do about it in the middle of the night)?! Do we really need electronic share trading or cognitive enhancement drugs, what good is going to come from this?

One of the best things I have done last year was to walk the Heaphy Track in New Zealand. – And I think one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much is the deceleration whilst “tramping” and of course the lack of choice, you’re in the mountains your options are limited. You have a 20k walk and the entire day to do it, you have the luxury of time to stare in the sky, watch the clouds move, the birds and wildlife, lie in the grass or tussock and / or read a book – and I like paper books, they don’t go “di-ding” and tell you what to do  😉

Enjoy whatever decelerating activity you’re up to. And for everything else that doesn’t or shouldn’t rock your world, I’ll leave you the words of Erika Batzli: “Das geht mir echt am Arsch vorbei.”

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