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Bad weeks don't seem so rough when you apply this perspective to life. Here's how.

Sometimes life seems really short, and other times it seems impossibly long. But this chart helps to emphasize that it’s most certainly finite.

Bad weeks don't seem so rough when you apply this perspective to life. Here's how.

This post was originally published on Wait But Why.

This is what a long human life looks like in years:


And here’s a human life in months:

But today, we’re going to look at a human life in weeks:

Each row of weeks makes up one year. That’s how many weeks it takes to turn a newborn into a 90-year-old. It kind of feels like our lives are made up of a countless number of weeks. But there they are — fully countable — staring you in the face.

Before we discuss things further, let’s look at how a typical American spends their weeks:

Sources: [1][2][3][4][5].

There are some other interesting ways to use the weeks chart, too:

"Current week" as of May 2014.

But how about your weeks?

Sometimes life seems really short, and other times it seems impossibly long. But this chart helps to emphasize that it’s most certainly finite. Those are your weeks, and they’re all you’ve got.

Given that fact, the only appropriate word to describe your weeks is precious. There are trillions upon trillions of weeks in eternity, and those are your tiny handful.

Going with the “precious” theme, let’s imagine that each of your weeks is a small gem, like a 2 mm, .05-carat diamond.

Here’s one:

.05 Carat Diamond

If you multiply the volume of a .05-carat diamond by the number of weeks in 90 years (4,680), it adds up to just under a tablespoon.

Spoonful of Diamonds

Looking at this spoon of diamonds, there’s one very clear question to ask: “Are you making the most of your weeks?”

In thinking about my own weeks and how I tend to use them, I decided that there are two good ways to use a diamond:

1) Enjoying the diamond.

2) Building something to make your future diamonds or the diamonds of others more enjoyable.

In other words, you have this small spoonful of diamonds and you really want to create a life in which they’re making you happy.

And if a diamond is not making you happy, it should only be because you’re using it to make other diamonds go down better — either your own in the future or those of others. In the ideal situation, you’re well-balanced between #1 and #2 and you’re often able to accomplish both simultaneously (like those times when you love your job).

Of course, if a diamond is enjoyable but by enjoying it you’re screwing your future diamonds (an Instant Gratification Monkey specialty), that’s not so good. Likewise, if you’re using diamond after diamond to build something for your future but it’s not making you happy and seems like a long-term thing with no end in sight, that’s not great either.

The worst possible way to use a diamond is by accomplishing neither #1 nor #2 above. Sometimes “neither” happens when you’re in either the wrong career or the wrong relationship, and it’s often a symptom of either a shortage of courage, self-discipline, or creativity. Sometimes “neither” happens because of a debilitating problem.

We’ve all had "Neither Weeks" and they don’t feel good.

When a long string of Neither Weeks happens, you become depressed, frustrated, hopeless, and a bunch of other upsetting adjectives. But it’s inevitable to have Neither Weeks, and sometimes they’re important — it’s often a really bad Neither Week that leads you to a life-changing epiphany.

It can all be summed up like this:

The Contents of Your Week

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.