Thinking Like a 100-Year-Old

One of the most common things I hear from people as they age is, “Time feels like it goes by so quickly now.” Well, there is a simple explanation for this. It’s because it does.

If you were 100 years old, any one year represents 1% of your life. If you are 50 years old, any one year represents 2%. If you’re a 10-year-old, one year represents 10% of your life!

This is why Christmas seems to take forever to come when you are a kid and seems to happen faster when you are an adult. It’s a fun thing to think about, and we could stop there and feel like we’ve learned something about time and perception.

But I think there is something more important here. The fact is that the skewed perception when you are younger sets you up for regrets when you are older. I’m currently evaluating an important decision. I’ve been seeking counsel from a therapist, a career coach, my wife, and others. If I were to commit to an idea that has currently presented itself to me, it would take a 12-month commitment.

It’s terrifying to think about 12-months of uncertainty, and while there are many different positive signs that I need to make this decision, I can’t help but think about how long an entire year is, and I am desperately worried that it may be a mistake.

But if I were to assume that I live to 100, it would only be 1% of my overall life. That doesn’t seem like a big risk. If I had to gamble 1% of my net worth for some reason, I’d probably be okay with it. It’s only 1%.

If I think about 1% of my life as a 35-year-old, it’s only 4 months. And if I had to risk 4 months of my life right now would it seem like a big deal? Probably not.

Confused yet? Yeah me too.

And I’m sure confused will be a big percentage of my life no matter how old I am.

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