The average American lives 78.69 years which equals about 28,700 days. Those 28,000 days represent time, time for us to spend as we wish. Time is our most precious asset in the world, our most finite asset, even though we have an average of 28,000 days to live. It is finite because many people want part of your time, your wisdom, your heart and soul, your hands and feet. It might be your work, your family, your friends, the restaurant that took 30 minutes too long to deliver your food, the line at the government office that took 3 hours, or the doctor that made you wait 1 hour for his or her mere presence. We have so much time, but we have so little time, and how we spend it is up to us.
What are you going to do with your time? Your headstone will have two dates and a dash in between. Your finite time represents that dash. That dash is merely a short straight line, but how “well lived” will your dash be? And at first in life, we are strictly trying to survive. After we get past the ability to only survive, the next progressive step is to learn, to serve, and to achieve a better life. But to truly serve with an incredible purpose, we must understand our “why”. We must understand why we were placed on this vast planet to exist. We were all placed here for a reason. We all have a “why” and we must work to understand that why. Understanding our “why” in life brings about greater wisdom, compared to only knowing “what” we do in life. Understanding our why we do what we do on a daily basis brings about a greater purpose in life. If we don’t know why we are doing what we do daily, we need to look at doing something different making sure what we are doing we fully understand why we are doing it and the purpose it serves.
General Douglas Macarthur once said, “Nobody grows old by merely living number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul.” Giving up interest ultimately means you gave up your why. Your age doesn't matter, we all have a purpose and a why. My parents are both retired, and my dad most recently. We all struggle with our why throughout various stages of life, and retirement is one of those biggest challenges to our why. And as we talk, we all have whys, they just change over our 28,000 days of our lifetime. And there are two different time frames I hate to see people struggle with their why, and that is as a teenager or young adult, and following retirement. Those parts of your dash are just as important as the center of your dash. And for the retired folks out there, as young folks with less wisdom than you need your years of hardship, trials and tribulations of wisdom.
And for all of us, what are you going to do with your “dash”? We may have made it an insignificant part of our headstone, but it is the most important part of that rock! Make that engraved line the biggest, the fullest, the brightest 28,000 days you can possibly make it! Make it a life well lived!