power your advice

There's Only One Number That Really Counts

We hear a lot about planning and setting goals, especially at this time of year. But when it’s all said and done, there’s only one number that really counts.Recently I visited New Zealand and caught up with Phil, who’s a great friend of mine. We had fun catching up together, and we found that we shared an affinity for a favorite Bible verse. It’s a verse that talks about numbering our days. It’s Psalm 90, verse 12. It talks about helping us number our days so that we can gain a heart of wisdom. It’s something that’s always been important to me because, in a way, it’s talking about prioritizing and time blocking and making sure you’re doing what really counts in life.It’s one of Phil’s favorite verses too, and he explained to me his way of looking at it. Now, he’s been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. So in that chapter, it talks about living our life to maybe 70, if we’re lucky, 80 years. And so, Phil has actually numbered his days out to 80 years old. Now he’s 55 now, and so he’s multiplied 25 years, or 365 days in the year, by 25 (the number of years up until 80). He’s come out with roughly 9,100 days, and every day becomes super important to him. He doesn’t know how quickly his health is going to deteriorate so he doesn’t take a day for granted.It was fun sharing that and hearing about his perspective on it and seeing how he is literally counting backward those days from 9,100 to right now and making the most of out of every day.Upon my return to the States, of course, I learned about Kobe Bryant’s death – tragically dying at 41 years old. A man of immense talent and ability. It’s only, again, reinforced the fact that none of us knows when that last day is going to happen. We can get into a habit – a bad habit – of just taking time for granted. It really hit home for me about making each and every day count. So ...

  • How many days have you got left to live? Exactly – none of us knows. None of us knows when we’re going to have our last day. So how do we make each day count?
  • Make time to review each day and reflect maybe for five minutes at the end of each day about how you’ve treated people. How have you spoken to your work colleagues? Have you been helpful to your spouse? Have you encouraged your children? What opportunities came by you that day that you either maximized (and pat yourself on the back) or could have done a little better?
  • Decide to do that tomorrow. Don’t wait. Just pick one of those items to hone in on within the next 24 hours, to make a difference – to take a seemingly tiny step, but to actually say those words that you know you were thinking at the time but just held back because you were afraid of how they would sound. Or provide that encouragement to that work colleague. Instead of wondering what they might think of you, just put it out there.
  • Look, number your days properly. We’re told that we’ll get a heart of wisdom. Just don’t take any day for granted: live each day to the best of your ability and bless those around you by complimenting them and encouraging them and letting them see how you’re wringing the most out of every single day left.

Related: Change Provides Advisors an Opportunity to be Top of Mind