Controlling Time

In 1513, Juan Ponce de Leon went to Florida searching for the Fountain of Youth (according to popular legend, this story is not corroborated by historical evidence). While the boy Juan lived to the ripe young age of 47, he may have inadvertently discovered the secret to living a long life in the finite amount of time you have.

What if I told you I had a simple trick that can add more time to your life?

Incorporate CHANGE.

Bear with me. The length of our life, and our time lies in the past. It is looking back on our life that we determine if we have lived long, or short. So by adding more memories of the past, or aiding the recollection of these memories, we add more time to our life.

We use “tags” to remember our life. Tags we commonly use are:

  • Who- associated with people: “What’s a memory you have of Jacob?”
  • What- associated with activities: “What’s a memory from when you worked as a lifeguard?”
  • When- associated with time: “What’s a memory from 2004? What’s a memory from college?”
  • Where- associated with location: “What’s a memory you have from Florida?”

By adding more variability to our life, more novelty, we add more tags, and in turn add more memories to our lives.

This can be as involved as moving to Vietnam, or as simple as joining a pilates class.

When we fill our life with new activities, new people, new locations, and new stages of life, we add memories to our years, and in the end we will look back at a life that was long-lived.

So, back to Señor Ponce de Leon (who had one of the most badass signatures in the world according to Wikipedia), it seems that while searching for the Fountain of Youth, he inadvertently found it. A conquistador and explorer, he lived a life of change, novelty, and full of “tags”. I’m sure that looking back from his deathbed on his 47 years, he would consider his life long and full of memories.


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