Focus your mind by calculating your remaining days

A few months ago, I had a weird experience. I couldn’t remember how old I was. I knew that I was 41 or 42. But I couldn’t remember which. Was it denial-induced amnesia? I’m not sure. Whatever the cause, I had to calculate my age. It was 42. Where did 41 go?

At that moment, I vowed to keep track. I created a life expectancy calculator in Google Sheets. It tells me my current age to three decimal places (42.381). It also tells how much longer I may live (35.919 years). For the latter, I’m conservative. I use the lifespan for the average Canadian male my age. I don’t factor my life extension interventions nor my cryonics membership.

Every day, when I write in my journal, I note these numbers. I even use my current age for my journal entry titles. This helps focus my mind. If I have only 35.9 years left, that’s about 35 more of my favourite annual events. Like the first snowfall of the year, and the bloom of spring flowers. (“The Tail End” by Tim Urban goes into many more examples.)

Life is precious. Time is fleeting. It’s easy to get distracted. Stare into the abyss every day by calculating your remaining time. It will help you be mindful and focus on what’s most important.

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