Speeding through tropical rice fields, I was listening to an interview with Kevin Kelly – the executive founder of Wired magazine – and he had worked out that he had 6000 days left until the end of his time (basing his calculation on the actuarial tables):
‘I tell you, nothing concentrates your time like knowing how many days you have left. Now, of course, I’m likely, again, to live more than that. I’m in good health, etcetera. But nonetheless, there’s something that really … I have 6,000 something days, it’s not very many days to do all the things I want to do.’
‘How many do I have left, I wonder?’ I immediately asked myself and as soon as I arrived at a beach cafe, I worked it out – 17,897 days! (Probably, I am 5 days down when you are reading this post.)
I have already lived 9779 days.
And I am planning to live in Bali for probably around 202 more days.
I figured this is crucial statistics and here is why.
1. A COUNTDOWN PUTS THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE
From now on, every morning I will check how many days I have left on this earth. Being conscious of your mortality, I believe, not only optimises your energy but also helps you to step back from what you are going through at that moment and see its importance (or, most likely, insignificance) in the bigger picture.
2. HAVING A DEADLINE
Most of us perform best when we have a deadline. Here it is – 17,897 days – my ultimate deadline. If you are wasting your time and feeling sorry for yourself, just take a look at your countdown. Okay, this means I am one more day down and have I make the most out of it?
3. DO WHAT YOU LOVE
There aren’t that many days, right? Are you doing what you love? A big one to answer.
4. BE TRUE TO YOURSELF
This is it – only over 200,000 hours (out of which probably half will be spent sleeping) are there for us to really be TRUE to ourselves: love fully and live fully. Will you dare to do it? Or are you going to keep lying to yourself – only to die with a bitter taste of regret?
5. THE NEXT SIX MONTHS
Now, I am realising I have 202 left in Bali (this is my plan, at least). Having this figure (in the context of my ‘days left total’), gets me really thinking about the way I want to spend them here and what I want to experience.
So complaints such as ‘oh, I miss my London friends’ and ‘today is too hot and I’ll stay in bed’ are no longer acceptable. What will I do to make this time in Bali the time of my life? How will I play and dance? What will I do today to have experiences that will help me to live the remaining 17,695 (and it’s only 17,693 now, when you are reading this post) days? Soon, I will write a post about just this.
So, if my health permits, and I actually die around the age of 75 (maybe later, of course) – I will have had 27, 676 days on this planet. And you know what? I have no desire to spend them the way that others want me to; I am going to do what my soul craves to do… How are you going to spend your days on this earth?