Slipstream Time Hacking by Benjamin Hardy

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Slipstream Time Hacking by Benjamin Hardy

The Book in Three Sentences

What if we measured our lives based on “distance” traveled rather than time elapsed? If we measure life by distance rather than time, then it becomes very clear that you can hack time by figuring out how to jump further along the timeline of life. This enables you to live many lives in one lifetime. For example, someone who retires at age 30 will free up an extra 40+ years of life compared to their peers, which means they can live an entire second life that many people will never get to experience.

Slipstream Time Hacking summary

This is my book summary of Slipstream Time Hacking by Benjamin Hardy. My notes are informal and often contain quotes from the book as well as my own thoughts. This summary includes key lessons and important passages from the book.
  • The faster someone moves toward a desired destination, the slower time moves for them.
  • But what if we did measure time as a distance? How would our lives look? What if rather than focusing on how long something took, we focused on how far we went?
  • According to Einstein’s special relativity theory, time is a description of distance traveled.
  • This is how time relativity works. Time feels the same to each individual but can be vastly different—speed is relative to each person.
  • What if we were to measure our entire lives as we measure light-speed—as distance traveled rather than time elapsed? How would each day look, if rather than passing through 24 hours, we measured how far we moved that day?
  • “The man who has lived the most is not he who has counted the most years but he who has most felt life.” —Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • After acclimating to the speed of my new system, it became obvious to me that I had covered more ground in terms of time-distance than many of my associates. In other words, while we had all experienced the same few years, I felt like I had aged, or changed, by decades.
  • Today, innovation is so fast that we accomplish more in a day than previous generations did in a lifetime.
  • If we measure life by distance rather than time, some people may travel great distances on a given day while others can’t remember a single significant thing they did.
  • If time is relative, we don’t need to assume one minute means one minute. Perhaps, five minutes could be squeezed into one minute, of five hours, or five years. The compression of time is not a matter of compounding activities, but the compounding of meaning.
  • If the goals you are pursuing do not require wormholes, your approach to life is far too small. The highest pursuits available are those that literally require exceptions to the rules, because such aims cannot be done conventionally.
  • Nobody achieves the impossible without thinking they can.
  • Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities aren’t really that rare.
  • Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” —Roald Dahl
  • The Jewish physicist, Albert Einstein, centered light as the single constancy of the universe with his special relativity theory. Rather than time being the absolute and unchanging force as previous theorists assumed, Einstein rendered light-speed constancy as the unchanging backdrop to his theories. Light is the framework of the universe and the fundamental reality.
  • For example, to a person driving a car, the objects in the car (his iPod or Big Gulp) appear to be motionless despite the fact that they are moving at the speed of the car. The objects are at rest with respect to the driver.
  • The faster an object travels through space, the slower its progress in time.
  • The faster an object travels through space, the slower its progress in time. If an object could travel at the speed of light, time would stand still.
  • To move fast is to have all the time in world.
  • If we have a lot of time, it tends to be filled with busyness. If we are crunched for time, we use that time efficiently.
  • Thus, to slow time, one only needs to set shorter timelines. If the goal is to get to Hawaii in 15 years, reduce that timeline to 15 months and voilà, put on your flower-shirt.
  • If a task is perceived to be unimportant, it will take enormous amounts of time to complete. Conversely, if a task is perceived to be important, it will get done soon—sometimes immediately, depending on how important and urgent.
  • By pursuing things we believe to be important and breaking them down into their smallest parts, time slows and more is accomplished.
  • Certain people are moving so fast that they can arrive at destinations in moments that would take most of us decades.
  • For example, assuming Tim and I had the same goal, if Tim could accomplish this goal in one day (like make a successful multi-million dollar investment) the same would likely take me 10 or more years. Tim is moving over 3,650 times faster than me. Thus, time has dilated 3,650 times for Tim. While he can now set grander and greater goals, I continue plugging along. One day to Tim is 3,650 days to me.
  • Bill Gates is another who is moving so fast he has potentially traveled the same distance in his life as the combined distance of millions of people.
  • Advances in technology are a great example of time dilation. Due to the rapid progress of technology, humanity is able to progress hundreds to thousands of times faster than we used to.
  • From a linear perspective of time, Bill Gates will live the same years as most other people do. From a nonlinear perspective, he is squeezing the same amount of life into seconds that most people experience in their entire lifetime.
  • Each of us has a vision of the ideal life we want to live. Living congruently with our ideal is how time slows down. Consequently, success is defined as living that ideal for the maximum amount of time. The sooner we get there, the longer we have to live.
  • “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone” —Henry David Thoreau
  • When we were children, time slowed down. Time meant something; or more likely, we were oblivious to linear time. Ignorance of time literally was bliss.
  • In contrast, if we know what we want and align our life to what matters most, to reality, time will slow down. All of those things we have spent our life chasing are nothing more than a distraction from what matters most.
  • The closer we get to reality, our authentic self and desires, the slower time goes.
  • What good is money when you don’t have time?
  • A person choosing to spend large portions of time in an unsatisfying job in order to make ends meet is on a fast track to his deathbed.
  • You may be young in years, but you are closer to death than you think.
  • If a moment is remembered, no matter how quickly it passed, that moment lasts forever.
  • You could live more life in one congruent day than many people live their entire lives.
  • The goal isn’t an infinite quantity of time, but the highest quality of time. This is where time slows down.
  • People who think “I will be happy when…” are speeding up their time rather than slowing it down. In other words, they believe that once they accomplish a certain task or goal, only then will time slow. If we could learn how to get to where we want instantaneously, we could learn the truth that happiness is now. Time can slow now.
  • There is always a way to get to where we want to go almost instantly.
  • Newtonian time’s most fatal flaw is determinism—the present is determined by the past.
  • Don’t let what may appear to be a setback become a missed wormhole of opportunity.
  • Change doesn’t have to take a long time, it happens the instant we decide.
  • Each person lives in their own perceived reality. Stephen Covey expressed, “We don’t see the world as it is, but as we are.”
  • When another cyclist rides directly behind the first, they get caught in this particle trail and experience a large reduction of resistance while simultaneously being pulled forward by the front rider’s momentum diffusion. Riding in the slipstream allows a rider to keep pace while using approximately thirty percent less energy.
  • The root of the word decision means to cut-away and remove other options. Thus, when a decision is made, it is separated from other decisions which could have been made. There are opportunity costs to every decision.
  • When choosing a slipstream to enter, it is crucial to be mindful. Destinations, as well as paths, must be chosen wisely.
  • Don’t get stuck in one slipstream just because it worked in the past. What got you here, won’t get you there.
  • Psychologists have found that the ability to experience joy has a ceiling effect.
  • Whatever we seek—we imagine the satisfaction to be far greater than it really is. Eventually life is just life again.
  • This is the experience of the successful. To them, life is normal. Not worrying about time, money, or volatile relationships is just how life is. The newness has long since worn off. However, even they have moments where they wake up and cannot believe how far they have come.
  • To push my own progress, I chose to surround myself with people several decades (literally) older than me. I made friends with people who were near retirement or already retired. I began to see movies with them, hang out at their houses, and engage in their same activities. I wanted to learn now what took them an entire lifetime of experience to learn. I gradually reduced my time with people my own age, recognizing they were at best, in the same boat I was in, and therefore had less experience and wisdom to offer.
  • When we buy a new home, it isn’t really costing us $300,000. What it really costs is the time spent working to pay the monthly mortgage.
  • Sadly, people today not only spend the time they have, they also spend away their futures. To accrue debt is to sell away our future time.
  • Not only is time the ultimate currency, but in actuality time is our only currency. Our time is the only thing that really belongs to us. Everything else belongs to the world and the universe. We can’t take our money or stuff with us when we die. Although we may “own” something, we don’t really own it. At most, we are stewards over our possessions, but they are ultimately the Earth’s. The only thing that is fundamentally ours is our time. To waste our time is to waste ourselves.
  • There are three distinct requirements for personal freedom: 1) a heart at peace, 2) healthy relationships, and 3) upright character.
  • There are many successful businesses but few successful families.
  • Meaningful moments exist forever in our minds—memories are timeless. We get to relive them again and again.
  • Leadership is not forcing people to follow. Rather than the bee going out searching for honey, it’s being the flower and allowing the bees to come to you.
  • In our world with limitless options, limitless books to read, limitless clothes to wear, limitless paths to take, it is extremely important to be picky.
  • We must not be afraid of committing to our true desires at the expense of forgoing others.
  • I’m not going to be lured by a great opportunity when it’s the wrong opportunity.
  • Those who become the greatest and go the farthest are highly selective about what they take on. They are clear on where they want to go and recognize that most of what life offers will not get them there. Almost everything in life is a non-essential distraction
  • “Most people don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own. They spend decades in pursuit of something that someone convinced them they should want, without realizing that it won’t make them happy.”
  • “Anything is possible, but not everything is possible” —Tyler Rex
  • Right now, most of us engage in far too many priorities. If we have more than three priorities, we have none.
  • Everything is a myth. It’s not only impossible, it’s ridiculous. You can’t have it all.
  • The fewer the priorities in our lives the better.
  • “The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.” —J.M. Barrie
  • The gap between what we know we should do and what we actually do is enormous.
  • Despite turbulence and other conditions keeping the plane off course 90% of the flight, most flights arrive in the correct destination at the correct time. The reason for this phenomenon is quite simple—through air traffic control and the inertial guidance system, pilots are constantly correcting. Essentially, the plane is on a straight course and keeps getting nudged a degree off course here and pushed a degree or two off course there. When immediately addressed, these course corrections are not hard to manage. However, if a pilot only occasionally checked the course the aircraft could potentially become so far off course that the requisite corrections would take substantial time and resources to execute.
  • True commitment can only occur when turning back is no longer an option. This moment constitutes conversion in the highest regards. Failure is no longer caused by a lack of commitment. If you are going to fail, you are going to fail epically. If you are going to succeed, you will live at your highest level.
  • “It’s easier to hold to your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98 percent of the time.” —Clayton Christensen
  • When you commit to something 100%, all of your future choices are already made—no matter how attractive the circumstances
  • A true pro gets paid, but doesn’t work for money. A true pro works for love.
  • “To the individual, character is destiny. To the organization, culture is destiny.” —Tony Hsieh
  • Essentialists are people who make fewer decisions, but take the time to contemplate those decisions. By doing so they make fewer, better choices.
  • Avoid checking email or answering the phone during the first few hours of your day—that time is sacred. Checking your email is simply a database of other people’s agendas. Thus, by checking your email at the beginning of the day, you have already set a pattern that your day is not going to be designed by you, but someone else.
  • Leveraging other people’s time, skills, and money is essential for getting where you want to go faster. You simply don’t have the time to do it all.
  • “If you ever find a man who is better than you are – hire him. If necessary, pay him more than you would pay yourself… If you always hire people who are smaller than you, we shall become a company of dwarfs. If, on the other hand, you always hire people who are bigger than you, we shall become a company of giants.” —David Ogilvy
  • Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the world was local and linear. Humans were hunter gatherers, with limited goals, living in limited space. Consequently, our brains have evolved to think locally and linearly. However, today’s world is global and exponential.
  • We all have invisible doors in our direct proximity that will transport us decades into our best futures.
  • The people that have moved the needle of humanity live on forever. The time they have expanded for others is their contribution to humanity—their footprint on evolution.
  • “Do what is right, let the consequence follow.”
  • Life is filled with an almost infinite wealth of hard decisions. You are bound to fumble along time way.
  • One thing is certain, life rewards those who act—the hustlers; not the wishers.
  • When the end of life comes, we leave with nothing but our relationships.

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