Goodness, it’s been a while since I wrote one of these! Technically, I finished this book weeks ago – but I certainly have been reading far less this summer. I feel like that’s the opposite of what would be expected, but it is what it is. 🙂
20,000 Days and Counting by Robert D. Smith is a book I’d had on my list for quite a while. It came highly recommended by people whose suggestions I typically enjoy. I had a really hard time getting into it though; the stories and thoughts seemed extremely disjointed. That said, it really was full of sage advice. I had lots of takeaways that would make it worth reading, though if it were longer (the author even admits he doesn’t want to take up much of your short time reading his book) I might have to change my opinion.
The premise is that Smith realized at some critical junction in his life that time moves incredibly quickly. Life is short – for some, incredibly short. Each day, he (as with all of us) steps closer to the end of his life on earth. While some find that morbid, he says, he uses it as motivation.
After this realization, Smith says he “understood little things. [He] felt a pressing desire to accomplish these little things – make a phone call, write a letter, research an idea – as soon as they occurred to [him].”
He discusses some of the benefits of remembering that life is short, including but not limited to:
– maximizing critical relationships
– dedicating 100% of time to God
– realize life’s true value
– possess a crystal-clear vision for life
and he gives quotes that are worthy of stashing somewhere for motivation when it’s lacking.
[Tweet “The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day. – Henry Ward Beecher”]
[Tweet “”Increase your productivity, and motivation follows.” Smith”]
Finally Smith points out that, “We have an amazing ability to overestimate what we can do in the next five years, and totally underestimate what we can do in the next fifteen minutes.” He reminds us that planning is critical, but not to spend more time planning than acting. That’s one thing with which I really struggle, so I appreciated his discussion of “10 Things You can do Now”.
Besides – he talks about sometimes eating dessert first. I can totally get on board with that.