The other day a friend spoke about someone who is dying, literally – someone who is counting down his days because of a certain illness. And the first thing that came to my mind was: Aren’t we all? The only difference between us and the person who was told she only has a few days or weeks or months left to live is that we don’t know what number to start counting down from. If you think about it, the sands of time are dripping down the hour glass. Our hour glass. Every hour, every minute, every second is our life.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve thought about playing around with graphs of life using spreadsheets. I figured that if we’re using them so much in our work and business to visualize our status, progress, or certain data, then perhaps we can also apply them to visualize our own lives.
In this series of pie graphs, I’ve graph-ified something quite simple: the years of life I have lived versus the years of life I (may or may not) have remaining. Obviously, all are but guesstimates. Nevertheless, it might be worth pondering.
What is your target life span?
I’m currently 30 years old, and I plan to live to at least 100. Based on that plan, I would have lived 30% of my life. This pie makes it look like I still have a lot of time to pursue my dreams and tick off boxes in my bucket list (though I don’t really have one).
What is your average life expectancy?
According to no other than Wikipedia, the life expectancy of women born in the Philippines is 72 years old. Based solely on this, I would have lived 41.7% of my lifetime. It almost feels like I’m about to go on midlife crisis right now. (Please don’t. I just finished my quarter life crisis when I mistakenly thought it’s supposed to happen at 25.) Also, have I made a difference yet in the world?
What if you live below the average life expectancy of a person like yourself?
What are the odds that I don’t even cross average? At the end of the day, despite all efforts to live a healthy lifestyle, and even through paranoia, you never know. And so if I live only up to 50 years old, which is but half of my desired minimum life span, I would have passed the halfway mark and am now at 60%. At this point I am already in a semi-state of panic. Am I happy with what I’ve done so far, and who I have been? Because if not, I better start moving, right now.
And what if…?
And what if I was walking my last mile? I wonder. At this point I would have ceased to think about adding to my list, and instead I’d be thinking about subtraction. What, really, are the most important things that must take up the last 3.2% of my life?
If you’re interested to do this activity yourself, I’ve made my Graph of Life Google Spreadsheet public right here. Not that it’s so difficult to do by yourself.
I would love to know your thoughts, sincerely.