The Currency of Life – 28,726 Days


“Git ‘er dun” takes the sunshine out of my day every time I hear it.

But these clichés aren’t so bad.

“There is no time like the present”
“Carpe diem” (seize the day).

In Microsoft Windows, updates are often installed while the computer is resetting.  I expect a world-action lawsuit against Microsoft because they stole this concept from the human mind.  Sleep is our reset button.

You know how to spend 8,000 dollars, but do you know how to spend 28,726 days? Days are the non-negotiable currency of life. You can only spend one at a time unless you’re really good.

While we’re sleeping, our brain manages data collected from the previous day.  Memories are transferred from temporary storage to the “hard drive” of the brain. This is why it is recommended to study the night before a test.  Sleep is a rudimentary element of memory retention.

Rudimentary (adj) – consisting in first principles : fundamental. (word of the post)

I came across a fascinating German study published in February 2011. The results showed that the brain stores recent memories better in sleep than in wakefulness.  It found that the sleeping human’s brain prioritizes and consolidates the information from the previous day (just like important vs optional updates for Windows :-P). You can see the details of the study here.

Sleep is what makes the day the most important block of time. Just like in Windows – we are able to choose what updates our brain will be installing every night.    These updates will be related to:

  • What we did
  • What we learned
  • What we need to know for the next day

When you think of life in this way, it makes things simple.  If you want to be a brilliant scientist, you’ll need to surround yourself with science and over time you’ll have a textbook of information in your brain. The challenge is in living consciously at all times, because it is easy not to. A conscious person actively chooses to spend their daily time in activities that align with their long term intentions.

This concept does not merely apply to our mental facilities, but also to our physical bodies.  When I bench press three hundred an undisclosed, yet impressive amount of weight for my size, the muscle fibers in my chest and arms develop tiny tears (not as in crying – that happens when I tell you how much I bench).   The tears in the fiber are repaired and strengthened overnight.

28,726 days is 78.7 years – the current life expectancy in the USA.

Snow Leopards Are Great

This is what my ideal self looks like, so I have a lot to do today.

Mind and body both work together to form who we are (in the physical realm).  They both require sleep to solidify the progress we’ve made every day, and days are all we have.  Weeks, months, years, and decades are clusters of days.  You can accomplish a great deal in a day, but once you sleep, you’ve reset and it’s time to live another one.   Our lives are divided into 16 hour chunks, give or take a couple hours.

Look at your ideal future self.  This person represents everything you love and want to be.  Now ask him/her a question – “What are you doing with your time today?”  Listen carefully to the answer, find a way to do those things daily, and you’ll be that person…

starting today.

About the Author

I'm lazy, but you can call me Stephen. When you're as lazy as I am, you need superior strategies to live well. My strategies are so effective that I'm productive every single day. As the world tries to figure out how to always stay motivated, I create strategies that don't require it.

A. Irvin

I love snow leopards – well, I love big cats in general 😀

You’ve included some excellent info about sleep, especially regarding learning and memory consolidation . . . which may not sound so exciting to others, but I’m a psych student – so, I’m jumping circles 😉

I hope who ever reads this really takes it to heart.

sguise

Cats (specifically lions) are my favorite animals!

I love psychology. I considered majoring in it. 🙂 I’m glad you’re jumping circles! That sounds like fun, actually.

Thanks for your input! I value it highly. And yes, I also hope people take the article to heart. It has been very important in my life to realize that all I have is a string of days. Each day is (or has the potential to be) an equally important contributor to our lives.

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