Are You Adding the Right Numbers to Your Day?

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Have you ever noticed how our daily lives are influenced by numbers? The number of Likes on your Facebook post, the number of holidays you get from your work, the number plate on your neighbour’s new car, the model number of your brand new phone. Or those numbers that can ruin your morning coffee; the temperature today will be -1 and I have 27 unread emails in my Inbox. Each new number accompanied by a bleep on your phone.

Or how about football scores at the weekend? Now there’s some influential numbers! One digit in either direction can ruin the week for some people. I once saw a caption over the photo of excited fans at an NFL game, which said, “Imagine if everyone was this passionate about things that actually matter.” A harsh statement, but does it hold some truth? These things that people enjoy in their past time are not inherently bad. It’s the importance that we place against them that is out of kilter.

Facebook Likes are not real numbers. At the same time, there’s nothing wrong with people liking your photo and adding that little +1, but it’s not the most important thing in your life today. It’s not even close.

There’s also nothing wrong with getting a new phone, but we place too much importance on our devices these days. I have certainly been guilty of this in the past. The fact that I have a 4, or 5S or a 6 Plus should not be a significant number in my life. Getting a new phone to keep in touch with your 5 families members that live far away? Yes, those are some important numbers.

Here’s another number; 1 second. That’s how long will it take for one of these normal days to go off track. Life can change in an instant.

When things do take a wrong turn and we hear sad news, we’ll wish our life could “go back to being normal”. We’ll then long for those mundane numbers. The 30 minute morning commute, the 1 hour lunch break. We’ll question how we spent our time. Why was I paying so much attention to all these unimportant numbers? A 10% sale. A 1 hour long TV show. Did those numbers add up to much in my life?

A final number to think about; 1 percent. A recent report by Oxfam said, “More than half the world’s wealth will be owned by just one percent of the population by next year.” That’s a staggering thought. “Do we really want to live in a world where the 1 percent own more than the rest of us combined?” the Oxfam director asked. The same article also pointed out that “more than 1 billion people on this planet continue to live on less than $1.25 a day.”

We might think we’re doing okay and all our numbers are falling into place. That we live somewhere in the middle of everything. That’s really not the case though. We imagine that there’s a gentle curve as you go between the poorest and the richest in the world. In reality, that curve is actually a cliff with a sheer drop-off. You have the world’s richest and then everyone else is the 1 percent.

What to do then? Well, instead of trying to climb that that social or corporate ladder, we could concentrate on those around us. We are all in the same boat. Make a difference to one person around you today. Just 1. It could be the woman behind the counter when you get your coffee, it could be the man crossing the road on your way to work or it could be your co-worker at lunchtime. “I have 5 minutes for quick chat. Is everything okay?”

Start today with 1. Your day plus one other. Who will it be?