I've thought about this video almost every day since I first saw it. Playing with the concept of time, it asks the simple but profound question: What would your life be like if you reshuffled the order of events?
Inspired by neuroscientist and writer David Eagleman's "Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives," filmmaker Temujin Doran gives us a glimpse into a life not ordered by time, but by task. Or, as the narrator explains: "All the moments that share a quality are grouped together."
Of course, the numbers are averages, so they aren't universally applicable: While 30 years of sleep might sound delightful to insomniacs, other times seem off for other reasons. Why 27 hours of intense pain, for example? I know some people who are closer to weeks of pain (my partner who has a chronic back problem for one; my stepmother with hallucination-inducing migraines for another). Whereas for me, after almost 40 years, the only intense pain I've really experienced has been fleeting — getting kicked in the face by a mule, falling off various bikes, a bad dog bite and that time a jellyfish wrapped its stinging tentacles around my leg. I would estimate that all told, it's been about six minutes of my life so far.
But only 18 months waiting on lines? As a former New Yorker and frequent traveler, I'm willing to bet my lifetime average is higher. And a year reading books? I'm sure I've already spent twice that amount of time with my nose buried in a tome, and I'm only halfway done with my life — and as an avid reader, I consider that time well spent.
These are quibbles about minutes used, and while I might question the time estimates, I don't take issue with the fact that I've spent lots of time sleeping, more than my fair share of time standing on lines, and some time in pain.
None of my disagreements take anything away from how much I love this video, and the way it has made me see my life differently.
I was recently traveling, and during that time, I decided to maximize the time I spent doing something I adore: Swimming. I made it my goal to swim every day, under every circumstance I could, because I was on vacation, and if I'm couldn't maximizing doing what I love during vacation, what's the point?
Inspired by this video, I broke my time away into parts. If I was going to spend 14 hours flying (which I don't love), I wanted to spend at least half that, over the course of a week, doing something I did love. It worked. Instead of working out in the water a few days, I simply had fun in the water, and not only did I get exercise, it felt great to be in the water for extended periods of time. I swam at night under a crescent moon, and in the morning before breakfast. (Because, why not?) I definitely enjoyed more than six hours of in-water time. If I hadn't made it a priority, it would have been just a couple of hours. So in a small way, this video changed my life.
What do you want to spend the time of your life doing more of?