We sometimes say that life goes fast, that our ancestors lived in big cities without haste, as a child life seemed endless.

But in what measure the speed of life?

Experiences “I’m in a hurry” and “I’m in no hurry” – internal.

Facts, “I’m late” or “I arrived before anyone else” – is an external, objective reality.

In parallel, the two streams flow of events in our lives: external and internal.

External life

Outside the stream of life – it’s meetings, trips, talks, reading the news, a morning cup of coffee and an evening walk with the dog. Completed and commissioned work, make repairs, a visit to the doctor, parent meeting at school – all part of the flow of outer life.

Major milestones and events of life, many people are like, and some of the events already occur after we are gone, for example, the birth of great-grandchildren. Some objective events on our lives take place before we were born – for example, my grandparents met in 1946. And this stream of events will continue after our death, when we are not aware of it. Neither the grandmother nor my grandfather is not alive, but I, granddaughter, now writing about them – hence, their biography continues.

Our business will be given the “echo” is still about seventy years after our life will end (as someone more), but the “external flow” – is not the life that we live. Our “I” does not come into contact with external meetings and partings. A truly “our” life happens inside – in the experiences, memories and imagination. Her we perceive as “their”.

The Inner life

If the speed of the outer life – a “density of events” – the frequency of crossings, external changes, then the speed of the inner life “unit” is different. It is not the number of “what happened” and the volume “lived.” The strength, intensity and number of experiences for the year or month – that’s what determines the speed of the inner life.

For example, the day “nothing happened.” But the man had time to experience the joy, gratitude, fear, relief, anger, compassion, fatigue, tenderness, shame, guilt, affection, pride, a sense of accomplishment. It was a day rich – but one simply judged the personal archives, re-read the letter, saw old photos … And in a couple of “external” spent several hours “internal” years.

Speaking about the “fast life” and “slow life”, it makes sense to distinguish between: it is about the events of the inner life and the outer.

Internal time

A lifetime is short for happy people and unhappy even a single night without fail the debt.


You and I have no direct way to measure the “time rate” and relive the same time as we experience the smell of lilacs, or the taste of milk. There is not a sense organ, which would have plunged into the flow of time. The vestibular apparatus helps us determine what acceleration moves our body – therefore we accurately know when a subway train begins to slow down. But there is no clear and precise sensations that tell us how much time has passed since the beginning of the conversation.

However, each of us is the “internal time”, and roughly estimate the length of time people can gaps. But this “internal time” rather shows the rate of “flow experiences”, the internal flow of events.

It lasts a long time if a nice, long-awaited meeting? No, exciting rendezvous flies for a moment. This is – the most concentrated, “fast” life. Later, in his memoirs, it is a short event will grow, expand, and finally a short meeting can take a whole year in memory: “That year, we met with your father.”

And vice versa – bad, bad times all last and last, stretching to infinity. doctor look stuck to the form with the results of analyzes. He’s been around forever looking at them – and silent.

– Doctor, what?

– Wait, I’ll tell …

And now we are waiting for the second consecutive eternity – but the time has stopped.

The sense of time we are extremely subjective. Happy are we, or are suffering, rejoice or miss – all this is reflected in the speed with which rotates handle our “inner barrel organ of time.” In other words, the speed of life is associated with emotions rather than to the events. Happiness – the best speedometer life.
Do I need to “rush to live” and “feel the rush”? Perhaps the best for each of us will have the life of the speed at which we are most happy, most fully live the most “like ourselves”, that rate, which is up to us, and it is now suitable? And let the one carried by the boom – “Live fast, die young” – since it is so decided and so grown up. And let the other is slow, and ends childhood forty and seventy only becomes an adult, and live to a hundred years, retaining a zest for life.

Own life

So, it makes sense to say not only that the “fast life in the metropolis destroys the soul” as to whether he is there such a speed as the person experiences their lives at their own pace. Looking around, we see people in different situations. To some of his “speed of life” is now fully fit, and it is more or less satisfied. And someone because of the speed of life suffers.

Let’s see when it happens. And we start with those moments when the experience of the speed of life is intolerable for us. These points are known to everyone.

“The torture of time”

We never limit ourselves to this. We wish to come as soon as possible the future, regret that it is so slow getting on to us; or remember the past, we want to keep him, but it quickly runs away from us. We are so unreasonable that wander at times, we do not belong, not thinking about what is given to us. We vainly abide the thought of time that there is no more, and without missing a moment of thinking.

B. Pascal

“If in the day was 48 hours!” – Says the man, because he does not have time to do all the work that was assigned to him. He is afraid of, “Oh, I’m late! Queen exactly tear my head off! ”
“Do not have time, I am getting others” . Here we no longer fear and guilt and shame for unfulfilled promises. For example, someone writes articles too slow … And someone offered to help a friend, but the time – “just barely enough” …
“I was overtaken!” . This is – an acute dissatisfaction based on a comparison with other people. “While I’m here I dig my peers already …”.
Fear of “buried talent.” Life is too short, and we can not manage to do the most important thing, the most important thing in her … And here already and anniversary … And here is the next anniversary …
“Who are these people? What is this paper? ” – So we become angry because of that we have to deal with some things completely alien to us. There is an acute dissatisfaction: “What do I do? As long as I spend time on ridiculous meetings and unimportant things, my life goes … “And we feel, at best, Martha, who is busy in the kitchen while her sister Mary” has chosen the better part “and listening to the most important words of life.
“Bad infinity.” Sometimes it seems that life has stopped and is not going anywhere. Tomorrow will be like yesterday and the day before. Future is, it is well known and does nothing important therein. At the thought of it terrified arises: “How did I get into this trap? How to get out? “- But it has become viscous and dense events stopped running, and we’re stuck like a fly in amber. This – “slow life”, but we can not relax and have fun – active part of our nature longs in this marsh.
“Roller coaster”. Too many sudden changes, from which is already sick. The situation is opposite to the previous one. In the outside world there is too much “all at once”. We do not have time to realize nothing, nothing to understand – and the fate of the already dragging us further. “Look to the right – a supernova explosion. Now look to the left – this is inflation of 1000%. Straight ahead you see the preparations for the end of the world, and behind our revolution. ” This – “fast life”, but we have chosen it. We surrender to the flow as helpless kittens. Nobody is not going to like.
“Best time of my life …”

And now let’s look at what moments of life speedometer indicates the “happiness”.

“Stop a moment, you’re beautiful!”
Sometimes we find ourselves in a perfect moment “here and now” – and stop to absorb it completely.

Here you come in the morning to the bed, which sleeps a child or your loved one. It’s time to wake him up, you need to eat breakfast and go on business. But then you see that his face is beautiful, serene, and all of it is so soft, relaxed, gentle – it remains only to sit down and quietly watch. At least five minutes. And these five minutes last very long …

Or went to you in the subway in the evening on the red line, and suddenly, passing “Sparrow Hills”, saw the sunset through the glass wall … and got off the train, stood on the platform facing the huge windows, and your eyes absorbed the red color, the shape of the clouds, the shade of the trees …

At such times we look, listen, enjoy – not in a hurry, we are in the right place, and we live in a very natural pace for us. We are happy. Abraham Maslow called such a state of “peak experiences.”

“The experience of flow” described Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and through his work, even very busy people “began to respect” not only the clarity of graphics, but also to find the “right rhythm”. Feed – this state, when the wave of life carries us powerfully but carefully; we not only manage the events as one with the course of events. Our “I” at the time of leaving us alone, and we become inseparable from what we do.

Surfer and wave. The artist and the canvas. The surgeon and scalpel. The cat and the fly. Two loving. When we are “in the flow”, we can forget about food and sleep – do not want to interrupt the process. We are moving in harmony with all around, with the whole world, with the past and the future. We are – where we need to be, and do what we need, that we love, that “we can not do.” Of course, we are very happy with this.

Happiness achievements
Not so easy to be happy in the moment of long-awaited victory. For example, the faces of people who had just successfully defended his dissertation, often express confusion and fatigue. And the athlete on the podium sometimes looks like a man who does not understand how he got here.

Still, the long-awaited result can give sharp and the experience of happiness. Here it is – the last triumphant concert. The long-awaited child. Stop the dangerous expedition. Released in the magazine the best scientific article. Here it is, the victory – and at this point we realize that all the previous efforts were not in vain. Time becomes a high mountain, which we climbed a long time – and are now looking to the top.

It – also a kind of “peak experiences”, and each lived a happy life, we find a few such moments.

“Insider” time
At a time when we gather all forces and say to ourselves: “Do what you must – and whether it would be” – lifetime of changing its character. Now it is – not quite our day and time we devote to something or someone. We have sacrificed their time – and thus part of their lives.

Such a “dedicated” time for us and a special attitude: it belongs to what is really important to us. Loved ones, children, favorite work, the idea, the professional community, to God and humanity. We are in a situation of “novices Life” and accept all obligations arising as a debt. “I will do everything I can”, “I have decided to put all the power in this matter”, “I must do it.”

Surrender gives “time dedicated to” great value. This time can be filled with difficulties, but it is a special joy to serve. And the pace of this life, too, is special: it does not depend on us, and from what we have devoted ourselves.

Enjoyment speed
There are people who just love the speed. The speed of life, speed of decision making, speed of traffic on the track. In contrast to the “flow experience”, here it was more a question of “intoxication” at high speed. We are flying, the adrenaline inspired and encouraged us, but we are happy about it.

Yes, this condition can cause dependence. But let’s not hypocrites: a lot can be addictive! And if people chose “adrenaline assault” mode – it is not necessary to stop them. Do not offer windsurfers sit in the shade of trees, and the biker – ride the subway. These too are people. They need a risk to feel alive.

All that we can ask “fan speed” – a security monitoring. You can enjoy high-speed driving on the road or “high management” at work – but that’s an accident and a stomach ulcer while not mandatory, and it is better to do without them.

Starting point

So we can imagine life as two parallel streams: external events flow and internal flow experiences. Each of these streams has its own speed, and it can be different: the “external” rate may be different from the “inside”.

For example, a rough inner life was Franz Kafka – against the background of almost complete absence of large external events.

And sometimes people are able to maintain an inner stillness, being in the heart of the storms of life – as if they were in the “center of the cyclone,” embody the idea of «Keep Calm and Carry On».

You can “live fast” in the outside world and to “live slowly” in the flow of experience. You can “slow life” and have time to create masterpieces, or fly fast fighter for life – and do not have time.

Perhaps it is not that, what is the speed of our lives. Perhaps more important to live in a pace that is perceived by us as the “native” as “his.”

“Where are you in a hurry” – may ask you, or vice versa, to admonish: “Hurry up!”. But only the person himself knows it is necessary to take the time or not, whether it should be “calm and relaxing” – or not. Sometimes – it is necessary. But not always. Not always. Listen to yourself, look at your “speedometer life” and to determine whether it shows the mark “happiness” – that it really can be important and valuable.

“Fast Life”, “slow life” – all this is not so important. More importantly, ” My Is this life?”