Time is running out. But that’s nothing new. It’s been running out since the moment you were born. No matter how long you will eventually live, that time is now less than when you first started reading this article. We call this concept of counting the years down, instead of up, your Bucket Age. Everyone has a Bucket Age. You can figure out yours by subtracting your current age from the age you’re statistically likely to live to. My life expectancy is 85. I am 60. That makes my Bucket Age 25. So, barring a terminal disease, accident or some other unexpected demise, I have roughly 25 years left on this planet.
For some, figuring out their Bucket Age is depressing. And I can understand that. No one likes to think about dying. But asking someone to figure out their Bucket Age is not asking people to think about dying. To the contrary, it’s to ask people to think about living. To get them to pick their heads up and see how much runway they have left and plan accordingly.
On a small scale, we are really good at putting things in perspective about how precious our time on earth is. Our hearts break when we hear that someone we know is diagnosed with a terminal disease and given X amount of months to live. We shake our heads in sadness as we read When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi’s New York Times bestseller about his battle with cancer. And we sing along righteously to Tim McGraw’s hit, Live Like You Were Dying. But too often, the lessons learned from this kind of wake-up call are forgotten not long after that person we grieve for is gone.
Calculating your Bucket Age is one way to maintain this perspective. To remind yourself how precious life is, and to encourage you to make decisions that won’t leave you with regrets when your time is actually up. I know, it’s tough to talk about mortality. But like a vaccine that utilizes elements of the very disease it is protecting you from, your Bucket Age can be that dose of reality that kicks you in the ass and gets you to take that trip, quit that job, start that business or call that estranged friend.
Check out our video in which we asked people to calculate their Bucket Age. Then figure out your own. Who knows what it might inspire.