Are You Counting Your Days?
…how many days do you have left?
Goal: To discuss the idea of remaining days and what we do with them
On September 12, 2010 I sat in a Fort Lauderdale bar eating lunch. I was on vacation by myself and was enjoying my time.
Why do I remember that day?
That day I was pondering a sentence I heard Joel Osteen use in his sermon, “Count your days.” Without a religious context, I pondered the meaning of that sentence.
At that time I was 44 years old and asked myself, “How many days I have used in my life so far and how many more days I had left to count?”
I quickly calculated that I had used 16133 till that day. Now how many are left? I asked myself how long I wanted to live and the answer that came to my mind is 101. My grandmother had lived till 100 so I thought I could do 101. The difference between age 44 and 101 was roughly 21000 days.
That day I started my countdown till 21000.
What is interesting is that a decade has passed and I have used up additional 3677 days. Have I used them wisely?
In the last decade I have written 4 books, 1 app, wrote a daily blog for four years, painted numerous pieces, changed jobs several times, and experienced lots of life events, etc.
My judgement is that I have been productive BUT not most effective. At times my ladder was leaning against the wrong wall.
The exercise of determining a year of your death and calculating how many days you have left is powerful. I strongly recommend you open Excel and type in the two days and do a simple subtraction of the two dates to determine your numbers. (Suppose you used cells A1 and A2 with the dates in format mm/dd/yyyy, then go over to cell B2 and type =A2-A1)
Of course, those days are not guaranteed. BUT the recognition of their passing is important. It is like an hourglass (life sand clock). The sand moves so slowly that it is not noticeable. You must be mindful of your days for they will come and go.
My view is very eastern in that I see each day as a mini life. I start with prayer, gratitude journal, meditation, and then I begin my day. During the day I pause a few times to ask myself if I am doing what I should be doing? At the end of the day I ask myself if I did the things that were important to me or mostly urgent?
What if today is the last day? Did I spend the day the way I should have? Did I touch people’s lives? Did I help them transform?
Then I let the day go.
It is worthwhile to note the passing of each day. Each day is a “present” given to us. Don’t squander it. Enjoy it and realize that it might never come again. It was a gift and it happened FOR ME.
In the end, it is not the start date or the end date on your tombstone that matters BUT what you did with the dash in between. Make your dash a squiggly line full of joy.
Work on your future self and keep mindful in the “present”.
I got to go…my future self alarm went off
Robert Trajkovski is professional with experience in leading people and projects in Steel/ Power, Refining, Chemicals, Industrial Gasses, Software, Consulting and Academia. He has worked for both owners and engineering companies. In addition, he has instructed 73+ courses at several institutions and often offers his courses for free on LinkedIn.
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