In contemplating the vast expanse of time, it becomes startlingly evident that the average human life, spanning roughly 80 years, accumulates to just under 700,000 hours. That’s less than a million hours (if we’re lucky) to breathe, dream, love, and find purpose.
It’s important to us (Ian and the ITS Team) that there is less pain in the world. That people have the tools and the mindset to find peace and strength in challenging times, to create a life of their choosing. This is our purpose.
So we have created somewhat of a manifesto to live by, to embrace the profound concept of ‘Less Than a Million Hours’. In this blog we delve into the beauty of life’s highs and lows, understanding the richness of both first moments and unexpected lasts.
This isn’t a race towards perfection or a call to do more, but an invitation to do the things that matter to you, to craft a life brimming with joy, meaning, gratitude, and purpose.
Look for the Hidden Gold in Hardship
Find value in tough times.
As we journey through life, our aim shouldn’t be to solely dodge pain or chase after fleeting moments of happiness. In fact, there are riches hidden in our hardest moments, lessons waiting to be unearthed. Every struggle is an invitation to grow, to learn, and to move closer to our truest selves. It is in the silences of hardship that we truly find out what we are made of.
Create more first-time experiences.
There is comfort in the familiar, but what about the things you really want to do that you are putting off? Maybe because you don’t know how to make them a reality or you are hesitate to try something new. Keep thinking like this over time and you may find as the years past your regret grows. Remember the first time you took a step towards a dream? Or the first time you held someone’s hand, feeling the electric charge of a connection? Those moments are marked by hope, potential, and the sheer joy of discovery. It’s as if the universe itself holds its breath, celebrating silently with us. Now is the time to do the things you really want to do.
The Unannounced Lasts
Practice gratitude and being present daily.
We often overlook: the ‘last times’. The last conversation with a loved one before they pass on. Or the last shared laughter with a friend before paths diverge. These moments often come unannounced, without a warning label that reads, “This is it.” It’s only in hindsight that their weight becomes palpable. The lesson from this is to grateful and fully present in our experiences, because you never know when the last time is happening.
Liberation in Endings
Find the beauty in endings.
It’s also worth noting that not all ‘lasts’ are tinged with melancholy. Think of the last day at a job that wasn’t right for you, the relief, the promise of new beginnings. The last times can be as liberating as the firsts, a sign that we’re moving on, growing, evolving into the next version of ourselves.
The Art of Subtraction
Simplify to amplify.
A life teeming with experiences doesn’t automatically translate to a life rich in essence. Sometimes, the most transformative moments arise from the art of letting go, from subtracting the non-essential, and from fiercely embracing what genuinely resonates with our innermost being. It’s in this simplicity that we often discover the profound depth of our existence.
A Life of Purpose and Presence
Pursue your purpose.
Purpose isn’t always grandiose or clearly defined. It can be as vast as changing the world or as intimate as imparting a smile. Many journey through life seeking that singular purpose, and while the search is vital, it’s equally crucial to recognise that purpose can be found in everyday moments. It’s not about the scale of the impact, but the depth of intention. Spending a lifetime in pursuit of purpose is noble, but each day should be lived with an aim to make time purposeful, no matter how grand or minute the action.
Perfection is Not the Goal, Purpose Is
Don’t let the idea of perfection get in your way.
In our relentless quest, let’s not be misled by the mirage of perfection. The true essence of our journey lies not in achieving an immaculate record, but in sculpting a life that brims with joy, gratitude, meaning, and unwavering intention. Each fleeting hour in our finite tally should not merely pass but be lived with a passion and purpose that leaves an indelible mark.
What to do with Less Than a Million Hours?
In the grand tapestry of the universe, our existence, marked by less than a million hours, might seem fleeting. Yet, it’s this very finiteness that lends our lives its profound beauty and urgency.
The ephemerality of our days isn’t a grim countdown but a gentle reminder of the importance of each moment. Every sunrise and sunset, every laugh shared and tear shed, every first and every last, holds immeasurable value. By understanding the precious nature of our limited hours, we’re not caged by fear, but propelled by purpose.
It’s a call to live each day with intention, to embrace both the joys and challenges with gratitude, and to weave a life story rich in meaning and experience.
After all, the greatest legacy one can leave is a life lived fully, in all its brilliant, fleeting splendor.
Join us in our upcoming free workshop ‘Less than a Million Hours‘ to explore this further.