Aug 25

Are you wasting your time?

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Are you wasting your time?

You had 86,400 seconds today, what did you achieve with them?

Do you remember Stephen Sutton? He wrote the hugely popular blog Stephen’s Story whilst he was fighting cancer. His high profile “bucket list”, activism and fundraising efforts of the Teenage Cancer Trust earned him enormous attention. Sadly he passed away in 2014 aged 19.

Whenever I read newspaper articles that are inspirational and informative, I usually cut them out with the intention of keeping them. Whilst looking for something this week, I found a clipping about Stephen from early 2014.

Everyone is given 86,400 seconds at the beginning of the day

In the article Stephen talks about this. Specifically that we are all given this amount of time at the start of every day. At the end of the day you cannot get that time back. Consequently Stephen exhorted people to “use this time as positively and productively as possible”.

This is a common perspective from people who have life limiting illnesses. They know that their time is short and so they have to make the most of it. Mercifully most of us don’t have this issue, even though we have no more idea of how much time we have left than a cancer sufferer.

What did you achieve with your 86,400 seconds today?

What did Stephen say about this?

“I don’t see the point in measuring life in terms of time any more. I would rather measure it in terms of what I actually achieve… I would rather measure it in terms of making a difference”.

This is a great challenge. So, with your 86,400 seconds, what difference did you make today? What did you actually achieve? If you find that you don’t like the answer, when you ask yourself these questions, perhaps it is time to make some changes?

How can I achieve more?

Stephen offered the perspective of someone who encountered tragedy, reminding that you have to do things. To paraphrase some of his suggestions:

  • Take nothing for granted. Tomorrow never comes. If a goal is really that important to you then you will find a way… today.
  • Set clear goals. Stephen had his bucket list, what do you have?
  • Live life. If there are things you want to do, go out and do them. How else are you going to achieve them?

Speaking to Grigorij Richters about his legacy two days before he passed away, Stephen said he wanted to make sure that we remember him as the positive person he was and not as a cancer sufferer. He was certainly a very positive and inspirational person. What will your legacy be? If you don’t know, perhaps it is time you thought about it? You’ll have another 86,400 seconds tomorrow don’t waste them… you never know how many more you are going to get!

If you need some help, give me a call, together we can #Startsomething or #Changesomething.


  1. Rita 25 Aug 2017 | reply

    This is a great lesson for life!

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