Embracing the Gift of Time

Time is our most precious commodity.

We only have so much of it. Sometimes we are given gifts of time, like if:

  • A client cancels a meeting.
  • A dinner date falls through.
  • A trip gets canceled.
  • A date stands us up.

You could get disappointed or angry. But let it go. Take a deep breath. Acknowledge those feelings.

Then consider that you’ve been given the gift of time — kind of like a gift card you receive on your birthday you can spend on anything!What do you want to do with this gift?

A woman in the U.S. who turned age 65 on April 1, 2020, can expect to live, on average, until age 86.5. A man who turned age 65 on that date can expect to live, on average, until age 84.0.

For a woman, 87 years means:

  • 31,755 days
  • 1,044 months
  • 45,727,200 minutes

For a man, 84 years means:

  • 30,660 days
  • 1,008 months
  • 44,150,400 minutes

Use your 87 or 84 years — or whatever actual time you have — intentionally. It’s a gift you’ve been given.

If you get bonus time, consider yourself lucky, not stood up. What do you want to do with the brief gift of time you’ve been given in this human existence?

Create a plan for your life and stick to it! And if you want to go lie in a field, look up at the clouds and have a nap, please do so! It’s your gift.

And consider voluntary simplicity. As Jon Kabat-Zinn writes in his book Wherever You Go There You Are, “I like to practice voluntary simplicity to…make sure nourishment comes at a deep level. It involves intentionally doing one thing at a time and making sure I am here for it….Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more.”

Lee Weinstein is a former Nike public relations leader who is now an entrepreneur. He has worked for a United States congressman and two Oregon governors and served on numerous nonprofit boards of directors. He and his wife, Melinda, developed the Intentional Life Planning process in 2000. His article “The Restless Soul in the Bathroom Mirror” was published in The New York Times.

Create your Intentional Life Plan now! Check out Lee’s “Write, Open, Act” workbook, also featured in The New York Times, for step-by-step details on how to create the life you want.