What I'm reading #20: Seize the day


By Sam Instone - May 19, 2022

Imagine you have a kind friend who deposits £86,400 into your bank account every morning.

This happens every day. 

The only condition is that you cannot save that deposit.

You must spend it that day... 

At the start of a new day, the cash is gone and your friend deposits a new £86,400 into your account.

What would you do with this money? 

How does that make you feel?

Of course, £86,400 is a lot of money for one single day, and so the likelihood is it will up being spent on wasteful stuff.

Now, replace this much money with time.

A day contains 86,400 seconds.

As with the cash, you can't save the unused time for the next day.

It's gone at the end of every day, and a new deposit is added to your account the next.

How does this thought make you feel?

Can you see the seconds slipping away?

Well, the seconds will slip away.

Around 100 seconds of those 86,400 seconds have slipped away since you started reading this.

Of course, you can't hold onto these seconds.

No one can.

Even the richest people in the world, can't buy a second extra.

But you can use these seconds wisely.

Maybe looking at your life in seconds gives you a new outlook.  

In 2005, at his Stanford commencement speech, Steve Jobs gave students a fundamental principle on the art of living, when he said,

“When I was seventeen, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past thirty-three years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

What Jobs did through these words was explain the well-known philosophy of carpe diem.

Carpe diem's underlying message

It's certainly not to act as if you have no future...

As if there are only twenty-four hours left on your personal clock.

Rather, it's about realising you'll not live forever, and focusing on doing what really matters, today.

Get clarity on what's important in your life.

Fix your priorities.

Invest in yourself.

Let go of regrets and move on.

Stay true to your values and personal vision.

And don't wait for the future.

Life is too short for you to ignore this opportunity.

This moment, this day, is all you have.

Seize it.

Further reading

How should affluent investors understand and deal with risk?

How to safeguard your family’s financial future

How much is enough? [video]

Goals vs. capital: Are yours aligned?

What I'm reading #19: Guard your brain attic

 

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