Numbering our days
19 Dec 2017
Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.Kahlil Gibran - Lebanese writer
Almost twelve months. What have I done? I feel like I have accomplished very little or nothing at all. Did I make any progress? Yes. But what it is like? It just feels like one star in the sky. How often have I felt making a progress like a snail in the last decade. Sometimes I feel like I have lost a decade of my life doing nothing at all. Days run by very quickly even before I could realize I have something to do. Most of the times I have to embrace failures. Anything I haven’t failed, doesn’t really mean a success, at least to me. Maybe, it’s a progress, but surely does not mean a success or the destination where I can say “I have done it”. How many more decades do I need?
If that sounds like your own thoughts, read on! Even if not the whole of humanity, I think, at least a portion of the human beings feel this, especially towards the end of the year. This is probably a state of being unsatisfied with ourselves. Maybe, we are not satisfied with the job we have although well paid, maybe, we haven’t had everything right to pursue our passion, maybe, we did not play well in our relationships, or maybe, we have failed in our career or business.
Being displeased with ourselves will not help us in any way. It would rather drag us down even further that we make no progress, not even what we are making at this moment. I wanted to take a different approach to see if I could get away with this displeasure on myself. I wanted to see how I could better gauge myself. That’s when I came up with the thought of “Numbering our days”.
What's the big deal?
I have always loved words. If there is one thing to fall in love with, that would be words for me. Words can speak emotions, words can speak life and words can speak even to the dumb and the blind. So, what’s the big deal about numbers? “Number” is a word. Number is not just (-) infinity to (+) infinity. When we look at numbers as a word, it gives us an opportunity to define it in a beautiful way.
A number is an arithmetical value, or a mathematical object that is used to count, measure or make calculations. You could use numbers to define something in it’s absolute form or a relative form. On your 500 km journey, you could use numbers either to say you are on the 400th km or say you are 100 km to the destination. Although both convey the same meaning, the former is more of your past and the latter is more of your future. Either you are tired of driving 400 km or positive that you only have 100 km to finish. If we had to just look at these as numbers in our example, we only have three. 500 is the destination. 400 is what we have completed and 100 is what is left. Of these only 400 and 100 is of more importance to us at the moment and 400 is surely a bigger number than 100. Depending on the circumstances we may choose the smaller number to be more effective, although both the numbers convey the same meaning.
Numbering our days
If ever we wanted to know where we stand, we should not forget that numbers play a vital role. Even something that can not be counted, for example, a relationship with a friend, we can still use numbers to define it relatively. I think we can quantify the level of our friendship today by using numbers to relate to the same friendship in the last month or last year. Some might disagree stating that emotions are not tangible, but there is something called Psychophysics which quantifies emotions based on perceptions and sensations. I’m not going to dig deep into the laws but I just know that it is possible and that is how our brain calculates our progress or performance of intangible actions or processes.
So, basically numbering our days is not just counting the days but how we should rightly perform calculations on the days of our lives. I could assume I would live for about 90 years, then at the current age I have only a little over 60% left. If I had to count the days I would be productive at work, it would be even less. If I take into consideration the efficiency as the age increases, I would hardly arrive at 10% or 20% of time I have left to accomplish something. Considering what I have done in the last almost 40% of my life, 10% or 20% would seem impossible to achieve anything. On the other hand, considering the experiences I have gathered in the last 40%, 10% or 20% may be more than what it is actually. If I have failed 9 out of 10 times in the last 40% of my life, the probability of failing will be reduced in the next 10% or 20% of my life.
Ok, that's not what you would do
Enough of calculations. I know I’m going to lose the interest of my readers as not many like maths! I wouldn’t too. To make everything simple, I think it would just be enough to know the basic numbers.
Start with a clean slate. Here are some rules:
- Do not compare yourself with anyone else.
- It is okay if you don’t have a precise metric to plot your graph.
- Include the negatives.
- Be willing to go the extra mile.
Let’s start numbering our days now. Gone are the days we have had to build ourselves into what we are today. Every single day that comes forth is an opportunity we can build a better ourself. Now when we number our days, we see failures as lessons learnt, weakness as strength gained, and accomplishments as relatively better when compared to what we are and not what someone else is.