A Few Words on Mortality


A Few Words on Mortality

Two years ago, a very influential life mentor of mine passed away.

When I met him I was still in my 20s, and back then he was a military man. He always used to drill into me the value of the 5 P’s – that Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. This is advice that applies to all of us, in all areas of life and business.

A few months ago, a close high school friend of mine also passed away. Although I hadn’t seen her for years, I’ve been in a reflective state of mourning since I heard the news.

On another level, these recent deaths have left me considering my own mortality. And there’s one message that’s been coming through to me loud and clear – you don’t have much time to realise all the planning and ideas for the future you’ve got floating around. You need to get cracking if you want to see it happen.

Imagine that you’re 40 and at the peak of your career. You say to yourself – “I have at least 25 years to get shit done, so there’s no rush.”

Well, you might want to develop a sense of urgency.

Now let’s say that as that 40-year-old, you’re working 44 weeks a year. (That’s after holidays and hangovers are deducted.) Of that 44 weeks, you’re going to spend at least half of your time putting out fires and answering other people’s questions.

So that leaves you with 22 weeks a year. Assuming that you’re 80% effective at implementing planning and clear thinking, you’ll have 17.6 weeks per year to actually get things done. 

So when you think that you’ve got ‘25 years’ to get it done, you’re way off. When you multiply that 17.6 weeks a year by 25 years, you’re left with 440 weeks – or 8.5 years.

Eight and a half years. That’s all the working time you’ll have to make a difference. Whether that’s in your business, your family or your community. It’s all the time you’ll have to actually change your life. Take a moment to digest that fact. 

Now is a good time to revisit the advice of my late friend:

Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

This means that you need goals.

You need action items.

You need to break it down into what you’re going to achieve this year and next year. 

And then at the end of the year, you need to revisit those goals. Then you can reset them based on the facts & experience that you’ve gained in the year since you first wrote them.

Prior planning is the only way to make the best use of your time. Anything else means lots of time wasted feeling around in the dark.

Maybe you’re dreaming of something as tangible as finally buying that investment property, or booking that holiday to Darwin.  Or perhaps it’s something more introspective – like being nicer to people, or revising your goals in life. 

Whatever it is you’re thinking of doing, you need to get cracking now! 

After all, you may only have 8 and a half years left. 

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