20000 Days Left

February 16th, 2009 by Kevin Ngo

There are only about 20000 days left. Assuming you are currently 25 years old and you were to live till 80 (average life span plus several years to brighten your day), you have roughly 20000 days left to live.

Think about that for a minute. If you turned 25 today, and really had 20,000 days left to live, by tomorrow, you’d have 19,999 days left to live. You went from the 20 thousands to the 19 thousands just like that.

The Measure of Time

What’s my purpose in pointing this out? Too often we look at our lives in terms of a measurement that is so big, there is no sense of urgency.

How many times have you wanted to start something like a new exercise program or develop the habit of waking up early or begin reading every night just to think, “Well, it’s Friday, maybe I’ll start on Monday”… or, “There’s only one more week left in the month, I’ll start the 1st of next month”…etc? How about waiting after the holidays or for the next New Year so you can add it to your New Year’s resolution?

When you think of your life in terms of years or even months, it will often feel like a long time especially if you aren’t pursuing some worthwhile goal or mission that you’re passionate about. How many times have you sat around and wasted a whole day or even worse, had one of those loooooooong booooooring days where all you wanted to do was find something pointless to do to kill some time? Heck, maybe you’re reading this article just to kill some time.

When I think of living until 80, I can’t help but think, “I sure have a whole lot of time until then. So what if I waste a few days or weeks or even months.” When I look at it in terms of days however, my perspective changes. Think about what you were doing the same day last week. Since then 7 days has passed, 7 less days you have.

Your Day Passes

Imagine right now, today, at this moment, you were given 20,000 day passes, less if you’re over 25, and everyday, regardless of what you choose to do that day, you have to give one of the passes back. When you run out of passes, your time will be up.

How will you spend each of your day passes? Remember, these passes aren’t like money, you can’t make more of them, once it’s gone, it’s gone.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the reason I chose 20,000 is to hopefully make you see that just one day can make a big difference. You go from the twenties to the teens in terms of time left, in one day.

Remember the day you turned 20 years old, when you were officially no longer a teenager? How about the day you hit 30, when you were no longer able to say you’re in your 20’s. How about the day you hit 40, when perhaps you finally thought, “I’m getting old”. How about the day you hit 50, when perhaps you realized that retirement is just around the corner and maybe wished you had made better decisions to prepare for that day?

Regardless of your current age or how many day passes you have left, realize the value of every ONE of those passes. They’re all that you’ve got. When you make a decision to trade one of those passes in for something, make sure it’s worth it because THERE ARE NO REFUNDS!

The next time you sit around all day watching mindless television, remember that by the end of the day, you’ll have one less day pass.

Which of those day passes will you use to

  • Celebrate your wedding
  • Give your daughter away on her wedding day
  • Stare into the eyes of your new born child or grandchild
  • Attend his/her graduation
  • Embrace the moment you realize you’re living the life of your dreams
  • Travel the world
  • Hold your lover’s hand while he/she gives his/her last breath
  • Mourn the passing of a parent
  • Give someone a second chance at life
  • Share your tears with a friend
  • Create lasting memories with friends or family members
  • Party like it’s 1999
  • Give your time to a worthy cause
  • Sit around channel surfing
  • Sleep
  • Complain and gossip
  • Do the same unfulfilling things you’ve been doing for the last few years
  • Do nothing

What’s Left?

Of the remaining day passes that you have left, only a small percentage of them will be spent creating moments that will last the rest of your life. Most of those passes will be spent on doing things you’ll soon forget.

You may be realizing right now just how many of those day passes you’ve wasted up until now. How many of those passes could’ve been used on something worthwhile and memorable?

For those of us who are over 25, like I am, we have even less day passes left. So for all you teenagers reading this, damn you with all your passes. Oh wait, did I mention that 80 years isn’t promised? If I forgot to mention that, sorry, silly me.

The fact is that we really don’t know how many day passes we have left. You could be 18 and only have 90 left, while someone who is already 80 can have over 3,000 left. If you’re a teenager and was jumping for joy earlier, sorry to burst your bubble.

The Life Box

So instead of thinking you have all these day passes in your hands, imagine being given a box with these day passes inside. The catch is that you can’t look inside the box. Each day, as you put your hand inside the box, you will only be able to feel one day pass which you will pull out to use for the day. On any given day, you could reach into the box and find that there are none left. When that day comes, it will be your last.

Choose Wisely

Treasure each and every one of those passes. You don’t want to be the person who reaches in the box and finds that there are no passes left and realize that you spent all day yesterday watching mindless television.

What matters is not how many you have left but what you do with what you have left. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing how many day passes we have left. All we can do is use each pass as wisely as possible.

Hopefully you gained a new beneficial way of looking at life by reading this article. Otherwise, I apologize for wasting part of your day’s pass which you can never get back. Oops.

Until next time…

Love Life. Do Good. Live Well.

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