The Years Are Short: This Is How You'll Spend 50 Years Of Your Life

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Your Life Matters

Patrick and I believe that there is intrinsic value to each human life. We base this on a belief in a God who made people in His image.

This blog isn’t about theology, macroevolution, or the meaning of life. Not directly, at least. I wrote this from a place of really believing that your life matters. And so, how you spend the years, you have matters also.


The Years Are Short

I’ve done my best to breakdown an average American lifespan for three main reasons:

  1. First, our lives are finite; seeing numbers doesn’t change that.
  2. Distracted people waste opportunities.
  3. This exercise brings clarity to what matters. (hopefully)


Nothing wins the hearts and minds quite like telling someone, “you’re gonna die.” 😯


50 Years of Your Life

Piecing together data points from several sites, I did my best to show how 50 years of an average American life breaks down.

If you live to be 80 years old, that’s 29,200 days. So that was the baseline for doing the calculations below—average American lifespan.

Here is how you spend most of your years on Earth.

Asleep: Over 23 years of your life sleeping - 7ish hours a night x 80 years

Working: 10-13 years at work - 48-52 years of working before retirement, with 8ish hour days

Messing on your phone: 9 years – 65 years of having a phone, 3.25 hrs./day of phone use

Eating: 3.5 - 4 years – this is probably low, as a baby we eat and sleep a ton

School: 2 years – 6hrs/day, 175ish days/year, 17ish years

Reading books: 2 years – if you kept the 5.75 hrs/week average for 60 years

Exercising: 6-7 months – 20 minutes/day, 365 days/year, for 40 years


The above does NOT include things like; daydreaming, streaming shows, trying to fall asleep, driving, waiting in line/for a bus or train/significant other, being on hold, going to church, or vacation. Dang.


As I wrote the above stats, my brain was hurting from triple-checking my math and then blown by seeing how the hours turn into days that turn into years. 

I’m assuming some read the phone stat and thought, “What the heck?! 9 years on our stupid phones????!!!” I thought something similar and did the math at least 5-6 times to confirm it. Then I threw my phone in the ocean.

I want to draw out the phone calculation to show what I mean. Here’s the math:

3 hours 15 minutes on our phones per day. 3.25 (hours/day) x 365 (days/year) = 1,186.25 (hours/year on our phones)


1,186.25 (hours/year on our phones) x 65* (years of having a phone) = 77,106.25 (total hours)


77,106.25 (phone hours) / 8,766 (total hours in a year) = 8.796 (years)


*I just put 65 years knowing that’d be safe based on my 8-year-old feeling jealous of her classmates at school.


Now that I’ve reduced your life to sleeping and playing with your phone...what are we to do with this info?


You’re Not Stuck

In my years at CCB Technology, one of us will often look at the other and remind them of something true. “You’re not stuck.”  

It takes someone from outside of the issue to give perspective, especially when we’re eyeball deep in a seemingly no-win situation. But why can we say that to each other confidently? Because we have experienced it repeatedly: there’s always an option. We just need someone to remind us of it.


This blog is your reminder. And maybe a sense of being given permission.


You don’t have to move forward with that candidate, even though they are at your price point.

  • Did you reach out to your former boss, mentor, favorite professor about it yet?


You can eliminate someone’s position and still love them and their family.

  • What about moving their seat? Could they fill a need in another department?


You should still take time off for that family vacation.

  • Prove what matters most. Don’t sleep for two days, get stuff done and go.


You can say “no” to good things.

  • There will always be needs. Figure out what’s most important (big rocks), say “yes” to things that support those things.


You can start a business, learn guitar, go back to school, get right with God.

  • Take a step.


I'll close with a quote from one of my favorite authors.


“Life is precarious, and life is precious. Don’t presume you will have it tomorrow, and don’t waste it today.”

-John Piper


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