I can’t remember who recommended Atul Gawande’s books to me but thank you. I’m reading his book Being Mortal at the moment and while it does seem to be a depressing read about our inevitable demise in old age (should we be fortunate enough to reach it), there’s one poignant moment that has stuck with me, which serves more as a reminder than new information.
Gawande describes a study in which people of various ages and healths are given an array of choices on who they’d choose to spend half an hour with, with options ranging from favourite authors or sports people to close friends and family. A clear trend emerged in that those who perceived themselves to have less time left, either due to age or infirmity, would generally choose to spend their time with loved ones.
Those with less time left, who we may assume value their remaining time much higher, chose their kids, close friends, spouses, siblings or parents.
How valuable is your time?
How many people do you think lie on their death beds wishing they’d spent less time with friends and family?
Regardless of how much time we think we’ve got left, the clock is always ticking down. Whilst this may be a depressing thought at first, we can use this to empower us to make the absolute best of every moment now. To spend time with the people who are truly important. To do the things that will make the biggest difference.
We don’t need to wait until the end is in sight to realise who and what really matters.