4000 weeks

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The average person only lives 4000 weeks. That is nearly 80 years. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? Breathing and walking through our days we rarely think about the limited amount of time that we have.

And it can feel like wasting when we are too busy hustling. Funny, but doing nothing also feels like a waste of time. Somehow we try to maintain the balance, bouncing back and forth between too much (stressed) and too little (boredom).

There was a man on a plane that I talked to. He was a product manager, kind of an engineer. We talked about work, as usual with strangers. He confessed that he regrets not spending enough time with his daughters when they were young. They are grown-ups now.

He worked too much and missed much of the action at his household. The place that he worked to create. Not much changed as far as I can tell from the brief conversation. He sits in an airplane after a 3-day-business-trip and looks tired and overweight, far away from home.

“Money is so important! You need money for everything.” he told me. Money is important – sure. But there is a twist. The more you have, the more you spend. He nodded and confirmed. He prioritized money and a career over his family. But now, he is telling a stranger high over the clouds that he would have done it differently.

And as the fat man in the airplane, we must prioritize. Decide what not to do. Choose the life that we want to live. Knowing that our life is probably not going to outlast 4000 weeks.

Oliver Burkeman –  4000 Weeks