Life expectancy at birth (years), UN World Population Prospects 2010
As you notice above, the average life expectancy for Americans is roughly 78 years. In other words, we can expect to live about 28,488 days. So, the moment we wake up, we just put away another day on this earth.
Bit of a dismaying thought, huh?
Well, let’s break it down even further: out of the 28,488 days to live, the first 6,570 days (approx. 18 years) are spent, mainly, going to school and preparing for the future (not counting higher education). So, let’s do the math: 28,488 – 6,570 = 21,918 days. The years from age 18 to 30 are largely spent prepping for and solidifying a career path.
Therefore, from roughly 30 years of age to 65years of age – which is the average retirement age for Americans – would be what we’ll call your “productive years”. These are the years during which we are acquiring major assets (home, car, etc.), stockpiling a retirement account, and for some of us, building a family of our own. These 35 years of productivity translate to 12,783 “productive” days.
We are therefore left with about 12,000 days worth of what we could call, for lack of a better label, “make or break” days. These are the days when we’re working on our own clock, not someone else’s. These are our days to enjoy.
Do you have a definitive goal for these “make or break” days?
What is your goal?
These are all important questions to examine, because time always seems to move much faster than we want it to. But, there may be a simple answer to the “why” of this flying time.
Let’s look at typical Americans’ TV consumption in a day (24 hours):
- Children ages 2-11 watch an average of 24 hours of TV per week, or 3.5 hours per day.
- That number dips to 22 hours per week for teens, (ages 12-17), and then goes back up to 25 hours per week for ages 18-24.
- After that, the numbers rise steadily until people over 65 average 48 hours per week, or nearly seven hours a day
- The average American over the age of 2 spends more than 34 hours per week watching live television, says a new Nielsen report — plus another 3-6 hours watching taped programs.
What do all of these facts mean? An average American sacrifices about 1.5 days from their life from age 2 watching TV. This means about 5,928 days are used up watching TV alone! What about including time for Internet (Facebook, etc), games, mobile phones, and other time-consuming activities? It’s shocking to learn how much valuable time we burn with these activities.
Let’s break it down even further, now in terms of one day (24 hours):
- Sleep – approx. 6 to 8 hours —-> now you are left with16 to 18 hours
- Meals and bathroom breaks –approx. 2 total hours ––> 14 to 16 hours left
- Occupation – Let’s assume 6 hours per day (adjusted to include weekends) ––> 8 to 10 hours left
- TV – If you use up the remaining 8 to 10 hours watching TV….
The Life in a Day – an extraordinary 90-minute document of highly personal footage, compiled by YouTube and Ridley Scott’s company Scott Free UK, and assembled by Kevin Macdonald, the Oscar-winning British director of Touching the Void. I want you to stop watching TV and watch this footage instead, and reflect what YOU can do to achieve your greatness by DOING something that you want in life.
Check it out below:
Great documentary about how we can learn from others in living the life. Just watch and reflect how we can be better. – SjC