Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Top 15 List of Life Thieves: Introduction

Are you being robbed?

Did you know there are thousands of thieves stealing your life from you everyday?

It's true! But, the worst part is that most of us don't realize it until we're at the other end of our life. At some point, we all begin taking stock and reviewing our memories and recalling all the things we never got to do. Why? Because something always seemed to come along that diverted us from the things we really wanted to do.

This Life Thief concept struck me like a lightning bolt the other morning when I was waking up. I realized there were so many things I haven't done in my life that I had really wanted to do. I also began thinking about friends, family and others I know who have experienced or are currently experiencing some thief stealing parts of their lives.

One Way To Define Life

It's important to realize and accept that life is a quantitative commodity. In the United States of America, the overall average life expectancy is 79.6 years with women living a couple years longer and men living a couple years less. The U.S. actually ranks about #35 in average life expectancy in the world, depending on the chart you look at, of course.

Obviously, since we're discussing average life expectancy, some people will be blessed with a lesser gift of life time while others will be blessed with a greater gift. However, since none of us really know the true value of our gift, it would seem that whatever our gift is should be valued as priceless.

Allow me to extrapolate this 79.6 years into some other familiar units of time measurement. Think about these numbers. The average life expectancy equates to 955.2 months, 4,153.4 weeks, 29,074 days, 697,776 hours, 41,866,560 minutes or 2,511,993,600 seconds. So, what do these numbers mean?

To me, they represent the gift of life I was given and the great wealth I have in time. My life represented by time is priceless because I know I can't replace it. I can't buy, rent, borrow or steal any more time. But, even if you place a simple monetary value of one penny per second on your life, it means you begin life with a potential net worth of at least $25,119,936.00.

Chances are you've never considered the value of your time this way. I doubt that very few people ever do. Time is, well . . . time. We complain because it seems to pass so rapidly. You hear older people say, "I don't know what happened to all the years." I know, because I say that myself, as do my friends.

But, another thing time represents is LIFE! From the very first breath you take upon your birth until the very last breath you take when you die. The span between these two events is measured in time.

Life Thieves

Just as we expend money in financial terms, we expend our life in terms of time. However, while we are able to accumulate financial wealth during the span between birth and death, we can only expend our time wealth in relation to life and it will continue to dwindle. Those who are on the positive side of the average life expectancy didn't accumulate more time. They were simply blessed with a higher "net worth."

Every one of us will expend our time differently. Obviously, there are some commonalities like sleeping, eating, personal hygiene, basic daily chores and such. However, every one of us will encounter Life Thieves that will rob us of our priceless time (and life) without guilt, concern or remorse. Worse, yet, unlike a criminal who knowingly steals with intent, most Live Thieves don't even realize they are committing their  nefarious acts.

Here, then, is my Top 15 List of Life Thieves. I'll discuss each of these thieves in more detail as an ongoing series of topics over the next several weeks concluding around the middle of January 2015.

 Top 15 List
 Life Thieves

15.  Shoulda/Woulda/Coulda
14. Job/Profession/Business
13. Traffic/Congestion
12. Time Wasters
11. Government
10. Television
  9. Education
 8.  House(s)
7.  Internet
6.   Money

And, Now . . . the Top 5

5.   Pets     
4.   Friends
3.   Family 
 2.   Spouse
        1.    YOURSELF

Only the top five are in, more or less, significant positions of importance. The other ten can be pretty much in any order. Number 15 and number 12 are catch all thieves. They both cover a multitude of losses. The other 13 are more specific. Most probably apply to you, some may not. Only you can determine if you've been robbed or are currently being robbed.

Take note of number 1. YOU are the largest Life Thief on the Top 15 List. The insidious thing is that we don't even know we've been robbing ourselves of our own lives.

There's more to come and I'm sure you'll realize that a significant percentage of your life has been stolen and, most likely, continues to be stolen by these Life Thieves. Hopefully, together we can apprehend these Life Thieves and preserve as much of our life wealth as possible. 


Camilla said...

I think health can rob the tar out of you. There are so many things I would be doing if I could ever get this cruddy back in order...

Ed Helvey - The Professional Nomad said...

You are absolutely correct on that, Camilla and I wish you the best in getting your back in shape again.

What irks me is that it's bad enough that we have some kind of health or medical issue, but the other Life Thief is the medical system. Your life, your time, your pain and your treatment is based on the doctors,' clinics' and hospitals' schedules. And then they often make you wait and wait, as if your time and life isn't as valuable as theirs. Sometimes you have to schedule appointments weeks or even months in advance. I don't blame the people as much as I see the system and process being flawed. I've been very lucky and blessed in that area - good health (so far) and doc's and practices that are cognizant of the value I put on my life and time because I made them aware of that in the beginning of our relationship. Not everyone is so lucky.