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May 3, 2010

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Congratulations – You Have 952,127,998 Seconds to Live

What would you do if you knew exactly when you were going to die?

I often joke that if I did (and if it was soon), I would go rob a bank. Just to see if I could pull it off. Get in there, execute my plan, and then… Leave the money. A dead man needs no money. But a (soon to be) dead man invariably feels the need to be remembered after he’s gone. And what better way to accomplish that then to pull off the perfect heist, and not even take anything? That’s the kind of stuff people don’t soon forget.

You can point out all the things wrong with what I just said in a comment to this entry.

A little while ago, I came across a web site that piqued my curiosity: The Death Clock. If only it were that simple – to be able to fill in a few personal details, and learn the scheduled time of my death!

Death Clock

The only time such a big number can seem so small.

As I’m sure you can imagine, I was quite shocked to learn that I wouldn’t make it past 55. To see the supposed year of your death and realize it’s only 30 years away is a little sobering. But 30 years – that’s still a while yet, isn’t it? Think of all you could do in 30 years, all you could accomplish! But then again, think of all you wouldn’t have the time to do in that relatively short amount of time.

Then I made a little discovery. This web site has a little drop-down list labelled, “Mode.” I realized that your selection from either Normal, Pessimistic, Sadistic or Optimistic has a huge bearing on how long it calculates you will live. So I told it I was an optimistic person. Boom. Just added 35 years to my life. Holy crap.

Although a web site can calculate how many caffeinated beverages will kill you, it can’t calculate when you’re going to die. But a site that initially seemed like nothing more than a gimmick suddenly seems like so much more. I’ve always believed in the mind’s power over the body. Why, then, did it take a stupid little form on a web site, and a pop-up telling me when I was going to die, to make me think about it so seriously?

I admit that I’m a cynic, and although I don’t necessarily consider myself a pessimist, I know I used to be far more positive about everything when I was younger. Maybe, sometimes, that was because I was naive. But maybe, sometimes, I had the right idea. In everything that happens in life, there’s a silver lining. Sometimes it’s harder to see, but it’s still there. You just have to look a little harder. Sometimes we get stressed, and sometimes it looks like the odds are stacked against us. But it could always be worse. And (rather unfortunately) there is always going to be someone in the world who has it worse.

Think about it. Count your blessings. Look for the small amount of good in every bad situation, and focus on that. With practice, it’ll become second nature, and I absolutely believe that you will live longer as a result.

Me? Well, I think of what I could do with those extra 35 years, and I want them.

So, a question for you, because I’m still curious. It doesn’t have to be morbid. Let’s just have some fun. If you knew you only had one more year to live, what would you do with your last year?

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1 Comment Post a comment
  1. May 4 2010

    What would I do with my last year? Just continue striving to accomplish goals off my bucket list, follow your dreams and you should have no regrets in the end. As for your oceans 11 bank idea, I’m down anytime lmao

    Reply

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