I recently heard Will MacAskill on the Tim Ferriss podcast. In his early thirties, Will is likely the youngest associate professor in the world and teaches Philosophy at Oxford. He co-founded a non-profit called 80,000 Hours which helps people figure out how to make the most impact with their career. He is all about effective altruism and donating money to charities that make the most difference. He donates anything he makes above $36,000 to various causes.
Will mentioned something that really stuck with me. He said when we make a decision in life like going out to a restaurant for dinner, we spend about five minutes deciding on the restaurant and maybe looking at the menu. That is 5% of the two hours we will spend eating. In life, we work 80,000 hours in our career. If we spent 5% of our time deciding what we wanted to do with our lives, that would be 4,000 hours or two years. Two years of researching what we want to do with the time we have. The best ways to use that time to change the world while doing the things we love.
Most of us do not put that amount of thinking into our journey. We just get onto the merry-go-round of life and never have a chance to catch our breath.
We don’t have to take a two-year sabbatical now and decide on our future. But can we carve out some time each day or once a week to think about it? To ask questions, network, read something that interests us and contemplate what we want to do with our days?
Novelist Dara Horn said, “Every person has a legacy. You may not know what your impact is, and it may not be something that you can write on your tombstone, but every person has an impact on this world.”
What impact can you make with the time you have? Who can you help? What can you accomplish? What are three things you can do today to start walking towards the destination that is meant for you and you alone?