Einstein made famous the notion of time being relative. The example I think he used goes something like: 5 minutes can seem to pass quickly when you are in the arms of your lover but would seem like a lifetime when you are sitting on a hot stove. It make a lot of sense to me and makes me think about how my perspective on other things in life can change in an instant. For example, before we adopted the kittens I would browse the list on pet finder just looking for interests sake rather than looking for a pet. At that point in time it would feel like none of the pets would ever find a home. I felt sad looking at the long list of great pets that have to live in the cramped and crappy conditions of the shelter.
The perspective can quickly change when you suddenly are looking to adopt. Then your thinking changes to "I better get down to the shelter before someone else gets there and adopts the cat I want!" as if people are streaming down to the shelter adopting left, right and center. Isn't that strange?
I think it's part of the reason Ebay has been so successful too, especially for folks like me. When it's something I don't want to buy I scoff at other user's wondering what they were thinking trying to sell THAT. When it's an item I really want I'm desperate to procure it, imagining that in a warehouse somewhere in the hills there are 10,000 computers and 10,000 operators all logging into Ebay to purposefully outbid me on a PC-CDROM version of Blade Runner from 1997 and so I must log on 10 billion times a day in order to outbid the unseen masses.
What's worst is that advertisers and retailers know this. They are master manipulators of our strings causing us to spend thousands on stuff we didn't really want but thought we had to get before they all sold out. Look for this especially at Christmas time when mysterious articles appear in the press announcing the "must-have" toy for Christmas long before it is actually "must-have".