Counting your Marbles…
Last week I spent the week away skiing with my two youngest and as we were getting ready to go I carefully placed my laptop in my hand luggage only to be reprimanded by them both, horrified that I would even contemplate doing any work on what is the highlight of their year! So after much discussion (well them telling me that I couldn’t take it) I removed the laptop from my bag and left it at home. Guess what I survived the week!
This brought to mind a story that my business coach and mentor, Terry Edwards shared with me and I thought definitely worth sharing.
The story goes like this – please read it, its defiantly worth 5 minutes of your time!
4,420 Saturday Mornings…
The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling towards the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time-to-time.
Let me tell you about it:
I started scanning my iTunes library in order to listen to a Saturday morning podcast. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous presence and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with, something about "a thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.
"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job... I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital" he continued.
"Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities straight." And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."
"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about eighty-five years. I know, some live longer and some don’t live as long, but on average, folks live about eighty-five years. Now then, I multiplied 85 times 52 and I came up with 4,420,
which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime.”
“Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.
It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on. "By that time, I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays, I got to thinking that if I lived to be eighty-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.
So, I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1,560 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear."
"Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I’ve found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focus more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."
"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday, then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."
"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on my show!"
The silence that followed was deafening!
I don’t know about you but this really was one of life’s wow moments for me – and I fully intend to spend my remaining 1,560 Saturdays doing meaningful things with my family! In fact thinking about it, there are only 416 Saturdays left before my lad Jacob turns 18!
May I wish you a wonderful weekend and in particular Saturday!