In about a month, I turn 50. That is not the precipitating event for my thoughts here but it did provide me with the foundation for the calculation that led the “number” mentioned in the title of this post. The precipitating events that led me to the conclusions I will share were my efforts at determining what 2017 holds for me and those important to me. I had been seeking out some help with developing my personal brand, pursuing some coaching in my own emotional intelligence, and had also recently revisited some personal insights from the Predictive Index. All of these combined nicely in support of my focus on what was to be in 2017 & beyond.
I have determined that given me family history and current age, on February 17, 2017 I will have about 10,950 days (365 days/year x 30 years) left on this earth (or you could say 262,800 hours or 15,768,000 minutes). Some folks might think this is morbid but I have found it to be both freeing and anxiety-inducing. These are connected because it gives me anxiety to think that I know have a finite amount of time left and freeing because it provides me with a clear justification for actions I must take.
I am committing myself to spending each day adding value to the lives of those I care about and doing the most good I can with each action I take. The key will be developing my ability to say “NO” more frequently than I say “YES” because I believe this is something none of us do enough of. I think our main problem is we try to be nice and are afraid of hurting people’s feeling. I also believe it is because we are afraid to commit to a course of action and stick with it. We want to do everything which actually leads us to doing nothing (of any importance).
More than anything, this type of thought process has given me tremendous clarity. I know now that there are a finite number of “tomorrows”. It has also given me a very deliberate sense of urgency to hold myself accountable for focusing on the only thing I can and that is my daily activities. I am striving for 100% alignment in what I do and who I am. I have committed to being who I am because I believe that gives others permissions to do the same. I will live each day being true to my values and I will not compromise because the clock is ticking.
I also want to empower others to get to “NO” quicker as well. I want to be clear and unambiguous about what I stand for in every conversation I have. I believe we should all do this so that we can create, nurture, and maintain as many meaningful relationships as we can in the time we are here. It is these relationships that define us and not the stuff we accumulate or achievements we strive for. Legacies are what we leave in the memories of others: nothing more, nothing less.
We can’t wait until some imaginary point in the future to live the life we want because, as Cervantes said, “The journey is the inn”. My goal is to create a life I don’t want to retire from. I would aspire to be a “master in the art of living” as defined by Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand.
“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his pplay; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he is always appears to be doing both.”
Do you know your number? More importantly…will it matter if you do?