Good Days and Bad Days
“Two points isn’t two points. I’ll explain later.” - LeBron James
Not all days are made equal. Some days are so eventful that they whiz by, leaving with you the satisfaction of a day well spent. Other days, you get back from work only to realize that nothing really got done.
I’m always reminded of this fact on vacation. For example, I just went hiking in Patagonia - each day there felt like a lifetime. When we got back after just 11 days, it felt like months had passed.
This got me thinking: how can I fill my life up with days like this? Days that leave memories behind, not ones that pass by without a trace. That’s the essence of a life well lived - not how long you’re here for, but what you do with that time.
I vividly remember the first time I had this wake-up call. I had just hit the four-year mark at Google. Given it was my first (and only) full-time job, that meant I had been out of college for as long as I’d been in college.
When I looked back to my time at Google, no memories stood out. I was drawing blanks. Four years and nothing truly memorable happened. Sure, I went on a vacation here and there. I made some good friends. I grew at my craft. But it felt sparse - meaningful moments were few and far between. I could have done more. (That’s why I quit.)
My four years in college, on the other hand, were life-changing. It was densely packed with rich experiences, deep connections and remarkable personal and professional growth. When I look back to my time there, I feel a profound sense of fulfillment. I know that I made the most of it.
Time Well Spent
The point is not that I’m nostalgic about college or regret my time at Google. I can’t relive or change the past. However, I can learn from it to avoid making the same mistake.
This is what I learned: time spent is not a measure of life lived - how you spend it is what matters. I spent the same time in college as I did at work, but one was exponentially more rewarding.
For a life well lived, you have to act with urgency and focus. Define a clear set of priorities and attack them. The more you do what’s meaningful to you, the more you dot your life with rich memories that stem from those fulfilling experiences.
Here’s one way I plan on doing this: waking up early. Whenever I have an early start, I always get so much done. When I get up late, it feels like the day just disappeared. I want to go to bed knowing that I made full use of every day. We’re only here for a short time, so why waste it?
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