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Secrets of Success

A Matter of Months

From time to time we hear stories of someone who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and been given only months to live. We comment how tragic it is that a life has been reduced to so few ticks of the clock.

We shouldn’t be so shocked at such news for we all know someone who is terminal and only has months left. If this is news to you find the nearest mirror and there you’ll see the person of whom I speak.

It’s you and me.

We’re all terminal (nobody’s getting out of here alive) and we all have “X” number of months left.

While none of us knows the amount of time we have left we can control how we measure that time.

The New Measurement

We traditionally measure our life in years. People talk about “turning 30” We read that the average life span of Americans is currently 78 years. We play games with aging. The older you are the older you have to be to officially be considered “old.” We pretend our birthdays mark the beginning of a year when actually they signify the end of that year. (There is no age ”zero.” When a child celebrates their first birthday they are actually celebrating the end of their first year and are beginning their second year.)

I would suggest we are missing the boat with our current view of the time we have left.

Let’s say you’re 38 and you are one of those people that will live to the average age of 78. That means you have an additional 40 years to look forward to. You get another 38 years plus 2. That’s like doubling your current age.

But what if you measured that time in months- those 30-day increments we are so fond of? By that calculation you would have 480 months left. Four hundred and eighty of those 30 days measuring sticks. If you’re reading this article at the end of the month you’ve just used up another one.

When you begin to think of time in those terms it may begin to take on a whole new meaning.

How Much Time You Have

Imagine you are one of those lucky few who wins the Longevity Lottery. You achieve the Gold Standard. You are one of the few who is going to make it to triple digits – The Big 1-0-0. YOU are going be a centenarian.

Even with that you still only have 1,200 months to play with. Doesn’t have the same ring as 100 years does it?

So what does it means?

Should you “live every day as if it were your last”?


First of all the overwhelming odds are it is NOT your last day. Secondly very few people are willing to commit quality time each day to thinking about their potential impending death. It’s just too maudlin.

Thinking about your lifespan in months rather than years could make you feel like you’re running out of time.

It shouldn’t.

The point is not that we’re running out of time.

The point is there never was that much time to begin with.

Investing vs. Spending

If we don’t have that much time maybe the best thing to do is think about better ways to spend it and more meaningful ways to invest it.

A good place to start is considering how not to spend our time. With so little time to work with perhaps we should begin by giving up some of our nonproductive habits. Maybe spending time overly focused on ourselves- feeling guilty, regretting, second guessing, blaming, criticizing, and resenting- is simply no longer a good idea with this very limited resource that is our life.

Perhaps our time might be better invested in others- listening, giving, telling those we care about how we feel, being honest, being brave, being decisive

But don’t wait.

Mend that fence. Send that note. Make that call. Plan that trip. Return that kindness.

Do it.


Do it now.

If it matters, say it.

If it matters, do it.

Before you know it your time here will be over.

It will happen… in a matter of months.

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CTS Consulting, Inc

3126 Berkshire Road

Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

cell 443-286-2488