How Much Time Do We Have Left???
There ain’t no overdraft on life.
We can never check the balance on our time accounts. The most precious and finite resource we have is dwindling. We are going broke.
No protection, no extension. When our time comes and our time account runs out that’s it.
Or is it?
Although we do not know how much time we have left, we can do a few things before we cash out to ensure wise investments with this limited resource.
1. No Bad Days
Just no. Find a way, no matter what to promise yourself any day can be redeemed. No bad days. There is something to be grateful for in each moment if we adapt our minds to that perspective. Accepting a day as a “bad day” is an oblique admission that we have given up. We quit looking for that silver lining or appreciating what we still have.
A day can be tough, a day can challenge us, even break us — but that doesn’t make it bad. All our lives are is a series of days. Are you okay with having a bad life? Would you want to die with a negative cloud around you? Or would you take the darkest and dreariest day and reverse it into something good?
Since we are heading for total time bankruptcy, can we afford to not find a way to make everyday good?
2. Think and plan long-term.
I fell into a trap once. The trap was pretending that because life is finite, I didn’t need to extend my gaze to the horizon, I could sort of float. I guess I thought that I might not live to see myself get gray hair and accumulate the wisdom of age. The way I used to live, I can’t blame myself for reaching that conclusion either.
But, something changed and I began to think of how to use my time. I began to take the more optimistic perspective that I still had a lot of it.
Why waste it? Why not establish something far off in the distance that I’d want to BE, DO, or HAVE? Even if I’m going to die that shouldn’t negate me from working towards goals or dreams. In fact, it should drive me more to plan, visualize and work towards these dreams because I am going to die.
“Get Rich or Die Tryin’”
— 50 Cent
Yeah, I just quoted the name of a classic rap album to illustrate something. The die trying part. If we are going to meet an uncertain end, should we not at least TRY to get rich, get fit, or get anything that our hearts truly desire? Also, should we not evolve past simply getting to giving?
Thinking and planning long term does not mean that we are tethered to some rigid weight. We are not locked to something that limits our ability to improvise or enjoy each moment as it passes.
The point of a plan is to decide what we want, and how we can go about getting it. Sure it will change, but having a plan is great because it gives you something to deviate from (if needed). Our remaining time accounts balance will forever remain unknown. But, our dreams, goals and plans should never stay unknown.
3. Live short term.
Tied in with no bad days this is a hedge. It could be tomorrow, or in 10 years — but we all have a guaranteed expiration date. Our time accounts are closing. No more withdrawals. So as a counterpoint to the think and plan long-term way of maximizing our time balances, we should not save it all waiting for the right time to spend it our way. What if the long-term plans never materialize? What if we’ve passed the theoretical halfway mark of our current expected life-spans?
Enjoy this hour, and the next. Whatever that means for you. Be whimsical and take a trip across the globe. Write down everything that comes to mind that you’d kick yourself for missing out on in this beautiful life of ours — then start tackling that list. Call it a bucket list, call it crazy, call it what you want. If there are things that excite you or fascinate you that you have never experienced, withdraw some time from your account and make them happen.
Even if you still have plenty of youth and vigor, it won’t hurt to bring the perspective back to this day in front of us. How can we live every single minute of it?
4. Make an impact.
Leave a legacy. Help people and strive to leave the world better off directly from actions in your life. This idea gets tossed around a lot — whether it’s making our mark, or the (often) young idealistic perspective of wanting to change the world. We all hear about it, maybe we even imagine it for ourselves. But, many find the scale and scope of the world’s problems too vast to do anything about.
That kind of perspective is not in anybody's best interest. We may not as one individual be able to solve all the worlds problems. We may not impact millions of lives with the flick of our wrists. Yet we can all pick a cause or an avenue of impact and put some effort in.
Every now and then there are extraordinary individuals who do impact millions. They tackle a large scale obstacle humanity faces and make a huge difference in the course of our species. You know what didn’t stop them? The thoughts that everything was too hard, too big or too scary. They may have had the thoughts but they took action anyways — for other peoples sakes as much as for their own.
With the balance in our time accounts, we don’t have to become the next Elon Musk, Ada Lovelace, or Benjamin Franklin. We should at the very least think that our efforts can make a difference, even at a small scale. Why not have the positive expectancy that we can make a beneficial impact beyond our own lives?
Is time on our side? Are we a slave to it?
Time is a perspective. Time is a point of view. Time is quite literally all we will ever have.
This is the 70th installment of Writing Wednesday. A weekly commitment to myself to actually pursue my dreams of becoming a writer. I am a writer.
Let me know what you think, and follow my journey on Instagram/Twitter (@multitude27) you can also check out my blog www.27threnaissance.com