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How Do You Measure a Life?

Guest writer: J.D. Meier

At this moment I am probably boarding the airplane to return from Scotland to the United States. One always needs to make extra careful arrangements on a travel day, so I wanted to make sure that the guest writer for today was up for that responsibility – I think I chose well.

J.D. Meier writes the blog Sources of Insight and it is from reading his fine strategies, outlines, guest posts, and management reports that I have come to truly enjoy reading his well organized and insightful gifts of knowledge. I can truly learn new information and apply them to my best practices and patterns of living and writing.

J.D.’s Hot Spots for Life post just took my breath away and I have gone back to it a number of times to regroup and rethink through my life situations. He says:

This is the big picture. It’s how I chunk up my overall time and energy. There are certain areas in life that if I invest in, I get rewarded. On the other hand, if I ignore these categories, I get penalized.

From J.D.’s about page I found his words:

Sources of Insight is my channel for finding and sharing patterns and practices from the best books, people, and quotes I can find.

When J.D. said yes to a guest post, I just knew I was leaving this page to a professional and I was Standing on the shoulders of a giant!

Without further ado I will share with you J.D.’s fine writing about life and living.

Thank you J.D.

children at sunset

“Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.” If you’ve seen Rent (http://www.siteforrent.com/ ), you know the song and that’s the number of minutes in a year.

The song continues … “525,600 minutes – how do you measure, measure a year? … In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. … In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes – how do you measure a year in the life?”

I remember the moment I heard those lines, my mind started racing for an answer … How do you measure a life? At first my thoughts went to all the people I lost in my life whose time was cut short. I could count them on two hands. I saw their lives flash by in an instant. The unrealized dreams. The unfulfilled lives. The hopes for a future they never got to see.

Next my thoughts went to the people in my life that lived a long and fulfilling life. You might call it, the good life. I could count them on one hand. In fact, I only needed 2 fingers. You could imagine the expression, “life’s not fair” coming to mind.

Slowly and, in an ominous sort of way, my thoughts turned to my own life. In this brief instant, time slowed down, as pages in my life album slowly flipped by. Strangely, there was no sequence. There was no rhyme. There was no reason. It was just highlights of what was truly important. It was a kaleidoscope of the people and experiences in my life.

At this point, I hear the song continue … “How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love.”

… and I thought to myself, works for me. I went back and re-counted those in my life that I thought were dealt the unfair hands. Sure enough, the love they gave and the love they got was well beyond a lifetime.

I used to worry about “how to leave a legacy” as Covey would put it. I realize now, legacy is really just a byproduct of how you spend your time with those you have and making the most of what you’ve got.

Photo by Landahlauts.

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14 Responses to “How Do You Measure a Life?”

  1. Shobana Kapoor Says:

    Very nice post. Succinct and well put. What worked for me is the way JD takes you through his own process of arriving at his answer for leaving a legacy.

  2. Vered - Blogger for Hire Says:

    Maybe it’s strange, but even though almost anyone can become a parent, I really do feel that being in a long-term committed relationship and raising two children gives the most meaning to my life. All the rest is just the icing on the cake.

  3. Jannie Funster Says:

    I’m at the library and humming that song in my head now, softly. Even tho I haven’t heard it in a couple of years its melody comes back easily. It is catchy. And uplifting.

    Sometimes there is no rhyme or sequence in our life albums, but to stuff them as full of love as we can is a really nice thought.

  4. J.D. Meier Says:

    @ Vered

    If you think about it, those really are the most significant things in your world … it’s the people in your lives. It’s a simple pattern, but a meaningful one.

    @ Jannie

    I find the song bitter sweet, and yes, it is catchy.

    Love really does seem to be a common thread across everyone’s life albums.

  5. BunnygotBlog Says:

    This is a wonderful article and I hope you enjoyed your trip, Patricia and you defiantly made a fantastic choice with J. D..

    I really like:

    “I realize now, legacy is really just a byproduct of how you spend your time with those you have and making the most of what you’ve got.”

    Great article J.D. ~

  6. Prashant Bansode Says:

    Wow! that’s the only word that I could utter – as I am speechless. I had read some of JD’s articles. But this seems this inner most thoughts. They have been put so in such wonderful manner and it runs you through and rightly leaves at the conclusion with sufficient room for your analysis. Great article JD. Thanks Patricia for bringing JD on.

    Regards,
    Prashant

  7. Jannie Funster Says:

    And WHERE ARE YOU, PATRICIA?? I have missed you so much! I hope you are back safe and sound.

  8. Kevin Lam (IMPACTA) Says:

    Good timing, and timeless article. I just back from a trip to Europe where all my old friends gathered together for one of the guys wedding and I couldn’t stop thinking about how great life was that I had even knew these guys. Money wasn’t even in the equation, so yeah the people in your life definitely do make the “trip” (the big long one :P) worthwhile!

    –Kevin

  9. patricia Says:

    Jannie and all,
    I am back and very jet lagged – I got home and my computer died…I have been running around getting it back working and up and running….I hope to be on line tomorrow do not know where my new post is…and why it is not running this morning…I am running around the bases and hoping to come into home plate by tomorrow and get connected …I will be back commenting by tomorrow
    Thank you all for your patience.

  10. J.D. Meier Says:

    @ BunnygotBlog

    Thank you. You zoomed right in on my favorite insight.

    @ Prashant

    Thank you! It’s funny how just when you think you know somebody, there’s always something more 😉

    @ Jannie

    I think she’s back in town and back in action.

    @ Kevin

    Thank you. Well put. I like your story and your play on words.

    @ Patricia

    Welcome back!

  11. Patricia Says:

    JD
    Thank you for your post and replies to folks. Very nice article and writing and yes! I am back in town and trying to get my computer back up and running…

    Thank you all for your good and much appreciated words and comments.

    JD
    I found the top comment from Shobana Kapoor in my moderations box…I sent it up but you may wish to comment.

    Sorry for the delay Shobana Kapoor – it is a very good comment and I was not in town to moderate it until now.

  12. Alik Levin | PracticeThis.com Says:

    JD,
    Thank you very much… you beatifully expressed what i am feeling right now.

  13. patricia Says:

    Alik,
    Thank you for coming by and it is a great piece/peace by JD

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