Do you have time to make the wrong decisions? Life is to short to live with regret and sorrow or to live an unfulfilled life. In this podcast, I share the secret book that made me look at my life differently. I now realize there is a stopwatch on my life. I no longer want to wait and defer, wait and defer. I want to know that with my time has been spent wisely making memories and hopefully making the world a better place. There is a countdown and my life and yours as well. So what are you doing about it?
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Hello and welcome back to the Divorce Angel Podcast. My name is Tanya Somerton and I’m the divorce angel. Thank you so much for joining me again today and I thought for this episode, given that it is my 20th, who would’ve thought already 20 episodes? Wow. That I would tell you about a book that was life-changing for me. I read a lot of books and when I think about it, years ago, I used to read a lot of love stories and novels thinking that they were entertaining me. Today, I find myself just reading a lot of educational books and books that really are going to hopefully change my life for the better. I love learning lessons from other people and trying to implement some of the things that they’ve done to save me time.
One of those books I came across must’ve been probably about five years ago now. I read this book and I remember just captivated by the very first chapter actually by the words in some of the first two paragraphs that I read. I thought, “My God, this guy thinks of life completely differently. At the time, I’d left my husband. I was living in my rental property trying to get my life sorted out and let’s just– I’ll just say it, I was trying to get my shit together. I knew that I had to come up with something and I needed to find a way to make my life inspiring, give my life a purpose. I really wanted to leave a legacy overall for my children. It was something that was really important to me. I didn’t want my kids to think just because life got hard that we just rolled up in a corner and that was it. We just waited until the end of our days and we got bitter and twisted and I didn’t want to be that person. I wanted to go, “Okay, this is where I found myself and now I need to change this all around. I need to turn my negative into a positive.” Or I don’t want to be a victim. I want to be a victor. I don’t want to want to blame my ex-husband or blame anyone for the position that I found myself in. I wanted to use everything that had happened as a stepping stone to something. I really struggled to fin what that was.
Then I came across this amazing book and it was called Life in Half a Second and it is by the author Matthew Michalewicz. When I wrote my book, The Jelly Been Jar, I remember this book having such an impact on my life that I emailed him. When I emailed Mat and I said to him, “I’m writing a book and I would love to refer to your book. Is that okay?” I was amazed that he came back with this lovely email wishing me nothing but luck and letting me know that if I needed anything, that he was more than willing to have a chat. The other thing that was quite interesting is when I read the book, I actually thought that he was from America because he’s traveled all over the world for he’s some young age at the time he wrote the book. I think he was only 37, but he’d done so much with his life. I actually thought he was from America or the UK or something. I turned out that his office was in St. Kilda Road in Melbourne. As a lot of you listeners know, I live in Melbourne, Australia as well. It was just uncanny that we were from the same state.
I thought what I’d do is I’d give you an idea of what this book is about. He talks about if you look at how long the Earth has been around, being some four and half billion years, then we as a human species have only emerged some 200 years ago and the oldest known fossil of modern humans is only 160 years old. If you look at that as an equation, it means that human beings have only been on Earth for .0044% of all of that time. That’s amazing, but what Matt does is he simplifies that even further. He says if you put it in another way, if you look at and you assume that our planet was only one year old, it meant that modern humans had only been around for what seem to be 23 minutes. Or measured on the same scale, if our planet was a year old, then your entire life would amount to half a second. This is where it got interesting because if you think about it, when we are born, our parents have these aspirations and goals and hopes and dreams for us as children and we all want this amazing lives. We dream of achieving greatness in our life, but unfortunately, as we get older and once we finish school, especially when we become adults, paying bills and just getting a university degree, going to work, paying taxes, finding someone and getting married, we get into what become every day just chores I suppose and we get dissolution and we become unhappy. It’s a problem in society and especially in what we’re talking about, when you’re going through a separation and a relationship breakdown, it just adds to our unhappiness. When you look at the time that we have on this Earth, we didn’t have time to be unhappy. We don’t have time to spend years and years waiting for something to improve or getting better. We don’t have time to be with someone that doesn’t want to be with us or doesn’t treat us right or doesn’t love us. We have to put steps in place to address that.
As we also get older, I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but I certainly have. The years just seem to disappear even quicker. When we were younger and we were at school, a term to seemed to last forever, but as we’ve got older, the busier we are, the more responsibility that we have, the less time that we have, we feel like we’re living groundhog 07:01 day and we’re going to bed and then we’re getting up. We’re going to bed and getting up, we’re going to bed and getting up. When you think about what we’re achieving throughout the day, we’re not really adding to our life other than paying the bills and just paying taxes and going about what needs to be done. That wasn’t what our parents dreamed for us when we were born.
What Matthew’s book is all about is this becomes the tragedy of life. This becomes sad that we just seem to be able to waste all this time and we don’t realize it when we’re living it. He’s saying that what happens is we realize that when it’s too late. After he traveled all around the globe and tried to tick off a lot of what was on his bucket list, he become obsessed with one single question and that question was, what would you do if you only had one year to live? What would you do? I suppose I’d like you to think about that as well. If you only had one year to live right now, how would you act differently? What would you do to improve your life or is there something special that you would tackle? Is there something you would say to someone that you haven’t said. Is there something that you would without a shadow of a doubt do because it’s so important to you. What is it that would make you feel fulfilled when you were laying on your death bed? This question obviously became something that was really, really important to him. The world today is full of unhappiness, but what do we do to address it?
He then takes it a step further and it’s at this point that I am completely hooked because if you think about how he said we are living our life in half a second when you look at how long the Earth’s been spinning around in orbit. If you look at in say, countries like America and Australia and Japan and France, the average age of a person living there is 80 years old. You need to use in your country what the average living age is for whether you’re a female or a male. Here in Australia, we’re assuming 80 years old is the expected age that I will live too, being a female given the medicine that I have available to me and the health that the average female has.
Right, so when I wrote my book, I was 47 years. What I need to do is take 80 years and take away 47 years old. That leaves me with 33 years. I have 33 years at the time that I wrote my book left to live on this planet. If I take 33 years multiply it by 365 because that’s how many days there are in a year, I’m taking this to a whole other level. All of a sudden, I’m getting how many days left on average that I may have to live. Can you imagine what that does every morning when I get up? I all of a sudden have 12,045 days left. That was when I wrote my book. It’s been three years now, so I’ve lived 1,095 days since I wrote my book. Which means now, I only have on average 11,000 days left to live my life. What does that mean for me and what does that mean with how I now think? It’s had a massive bearing because before, I would get up and always think, “There’s another day. I’ve got another day to do something with my life. I’ve got a day to lay around on the couch. I’ve got a day to feel sorry for myself. I’ve got a day up my sleeve to do whatever it is that I want to do. I’ve got a day to waste.”
What it’s done is it’s made me look at life completely differently. Every day I get up, I’ve got one less day to live. Now, let’s be honest, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, touch wood that doesn’t happen, but I could. If we’re using this just as an example of how I might live my life, it means that when I get up tomorrow morning, I’ve got one less day. I’ve lived today hopefully to my fullest and everything I’ve done has added value to my life or someone else’s life. Now, when I’m feeling sad or I’m struggling or don’t get me wrong, I still have those days where I just want to lay around the couch but I’ve earned those days and I take them into consideration because you still have to look after yourself. What I suppose I’m saying is I’m not wasting time feeling sorry. I’m not wasting time going, “Is this the right decision for me?” or “Can I sit there and dwell on something when it’s really adding no value to my life?” It’s those sorts of things that have changed for me. Before where I might’be thought, “I’ll get back to you or I’ll think about it,” I’ll make a yes or no answer right there right then because why spend time worrying about something that’s not going to get me anywhere. Let’s just answer it and move on.
I’m also not going to spend my time with people that don’t add value to my life. I suppose when I was younger, I would spend time with people that really we didn’t have aligned values with or we didn’t have things in common only because I was being polite. You’ll often hear me say, “You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with.” I’ll be honest, I probably spent time with people that really did not have the same outlooks in life that I did. We had different direction. Today, I spend time with the people that are going to add value to my life. The people that I truly want to spend and live my life with, people that I love and cherish, people that are going to help me help other people, people that want to listen to what I have to say because it adds value to them. It also helps me with my clients because if I’m working with someone and I can see right from the start that they don’t want to take any responsibility for what’s happened in their life, whether that be from their relationship breakdown or it could be a financial issue, if you don’t want to address what’s wrong, then how can you fix it?
We all have to be able to at some stage put our hand up and go, “I made a mistake. This is an issue for me and I need to address it.” That’s what I love so much about the possibility of divorce. That might sound really stupid, but just because we are separating or going through a divorce does not mean that we aren’t as worthy as someone else. I lived with this guilt for quite a bit of time. I felt like a failure. I felt like I wasn’t whole because I’d got divorced. What I’ve realized is that’s not true. That is so not true. What happens after you get divorced is you have the ability to reinvent yourself. You have the ability to go out and do something completely different. You have the ability to make completely different decisions that can head you in a different direction. With the help of this book, I was able to realize that I had time, but I had to use that time wisely. I wasn’t going to spend any of it doing things that weren’t going to add value to my life. I want that for you as well.
If you are at the stage that you’re either with someone and you’re not sure whether you should leave or not, you need to consider reading this book and ask yourself, can I waste anymore time in a relationship that’s not going anywhere or in a relationship with a person that’s not going to change? Are you prepared to give the most valuable asset you have in your life, that is time? Time is the most valuable thing we all have. We can learn and when you learn, you have the knowledge to get money. You are able to get another job. In today’s society, you can start an internet business and get some cash flow coming that way. All of those things, we can rebuild our lives, we can rent a new house, we can buy a new house, we can start a new relationship, we can do whatever we want to do, but we have to do decisions quickly, and we have to use our time wisely.
If you have separated from your partner and you’re finding yourself struggling to understand what it is that you want from your future, now’s the time to really think about what would make you happy. The how of why you leave is one of the most important things. The how is your purpose and maybe you don’t have a purpose. Maybe it could be your children. You might put everything into making sure your kids are successful. It could be your business, it could be your family, it could be whatever it is that makes you happy. I’ve had clients that have been surfing, they just want to travel the world and surf the biggest waves. That’s their purpose. Whatever it is that’s your purpose, you need to figure out a way to make sure that when you’re lying on your deathbed that everything that you wanted to achieve was done. Don’t waste one more second doing something that you don’t want to do.
What I’d like to do in closing this podcast is just read something from Matthew’s book and it goes like this. “I don’t know who you are, where you live, or anything about your values or background, but I do know one thing. You’ve only got half a second and you might be content to use that half a second waiting and deferring, waiting and deferring. Never quite knowing why or what for, but not me. I want to close my eyes and know I’ve made the most of my life. Knowing I never waited and I never deferred. If I had more time, I would’ve done more, but with the time I had, I did all I could. That’s why I’m in a hurry, that’s why I don’t have a moment to lose. There’s a countdown on my life and guess what, there’s a countdown on yours as well.”
That’s in one of Matt’s chapters and I suppose that’s what I want you to think about. If you are not happy, you need to do something about it and make your life exceptional. This has been one of my favorite all-time books and I will in the show notes put a link to where you can get it on Amazon because it is a great read and it’s a book that I go back to time and time again. It’s added so much value to my life and it helps me think when things aren’t going right, what I should be doing and I get a little bit of clarity about it. I hope that also if you do read it, it adds value to you. If you don’t read it, hopefully, you’ve learned enough from this podcast to understand that time is valuable and you can’t waste it doing something that you do not want to do. That’s it for this week. Thank you for listening and I look forward to having a chat to you again next week. Bye for now.
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