I recently heard an interesting interview with Kevin Kelley, founder of Wired magazine on The Tim Ferris Show. He talked about having a clock on his computer desktop counting down how much time he had left to live according to government actuary tables. If the glowing rectangles that I seem to always have in front of my face displayed a number steadily ticking down the time I have remaining to live, I wonder if it would change the way I spend my days? And what if all of us did this? What kind of world could that create? I think that knowing what “the experts” think my life expectancy should be could also serve as a challenge to try and beat the odds and see how long I can go past my due date. The everyday awareness that there is an end to this life could be empowering if I allow it to be.
A quick internet quiz gave me an estimate that I will live to be 92 years old, meaning that I potentially have half my life still ahead of me. That information is both encouraging and sobering. Yes, I have plenty of time left to enjoy life, but it is passing and with each year, optimal health will be harder and harder to maintain. Just because there is plenty of time doesn’t mean I want to squander any of it.
Most of us act as if time is unlimited, though intellectually we know this not to be true. How many pointless articles on the internet would I forego if I knew how many hours I had left to live? How much time would I spend stewing over what should be simple decisions if I had some idea when I might die? What can I do to better take care of my body in order to enjoy my remaining time and perhaps even extend it?
Death is something we avoid thinking about but should keep in mind each day. We need to be aware of how we spend our precious time and make choices we will be satisfied with when our end is upon us. We need to appreciate the people in our life, knowing their time is limited as well. Each moment is a new chance to make a decision about how we spend our time and how we treat our body. Every second is a chance to influence what attitudes and actions we bring into the world. The clock is ticking, so what are we going to do with the time that remains?