What Will You Trade For A Day Of Your Life?

The other night my good friend Macy Miller from Minimotives.com posted a quote that really made me stop and think real hard.  Here it is…

What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.

The quote struck me hard because on that day, while I did get some stuff done for this website, I was largely not doing anything productive or intersting.  Now there are times where not doing anything is exactly what you need, so in its essence, it has value because it is restorative or therapeutic.  However this day was not one of those days.  I read this quote and felt that today was a day not used well.

So I took some time and thought on this concept.

  • What is valuable enough in my life that I would exchange a part of my life for it?
  • Who are the people that are valuable enough in my life to spend it with?
  • If something isn’t worth this gift of a day, then what should instead replace it with?

Think about this for a moment.  Really think about it.


To get an idea of how much we don’t consider this factor in our lives, consider this.  Assuming a person was to live to the age of 80 (national average life expectancy is 78.6 in the USA), the average American spends:

  • 10 years at work
  • 13 years watching TV
  • 2.7 years commuting
  • 2.5 year shopping
  • Total: 28.2 years

When you consider this question: what is valuable enough to give a day of your life?  Then consider the fact that we spend a large part of our life doing these things listed.  Is it worth it?


Now we obviously need to balance some of these things with reality.  To some degree we need to work to support ourselves, but if we were in a Tiny House, then how much could we cut down or do that job that we always wanted to, but it didn’t pay enough.  We need to eat, so some shopping is inevitable.

The time we spend watching TV is what really got me.  I don’t have cable, but I do like to watch some shows online through streaming.  My gut reaction was to stop watching some of the shows, but I think there too, there are some shows that are compelling and creative enough that in moderation, they can be beneficial for your imagination, relaxation time etc.

So today ask yourself what is worth giving a part of your life for, you might be surprised how your priorities change or reaffirm.

  1. 45 years of working / 50 weeks a year / 24 hours a day = 10 years of life. sure other equations there are wrong too.

    life living inside a tiny room = lifetime

    • You’re correct, I forgot to adjust for being a kid and retirement. Thanks!

    • Life inside a McMansion? Also a lifetime, but more of that time will be spent on mowing the expansive lawn (to make sure the neighbors don’t complain), and worrying about dandelions with the accompanying poison to get rid of them, and cleaning the gutters, and saving up for a new roof every 20 years, and vacuuming, cleaning, painting and otherwise maintaining it, buying furniture to fill the rooms with, paying out good money for ‘decorating’ magazines that make you feel inferior and like you have to redecorate all over again, more hours at that job you probably don’t like to pay the mortgage (interest first!!!), money that goes to bankers who may well be criminals, and lest we forget, more time spent working to pay exorbitant utility bills on rooms you can’t use (you’re only in one room at a time, right?)… And meanwhile, society tells you it’s never enough, you’re not good enough, you must ‘entertain’ and ‘consume’ and be a good little cog in the wheel that’s helping run over the planet.

      On the other hand, if your tiny house, or just smaller house, gets a tad too confining, you can go for a walk.


      It’s very BIG outside.

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