On the eve of the presidential elections, how to survive and make best use of our time here on earth may be even more top of mind than usual. What better time to share a recent piece by Fast Company’s Laura Vanderkam: “Cancer Survivors Share Hard-Won Lessons On Managing Time Well.” Beyond being fascinating in its own rights, the article features our own Matt Hall reflecting on his experience living with leukemia (a subject he also explores more extensively in his book, “Odds On.”)
When Matt was hit with the bad news in 2006 (only about a year after co-founding Hill Investment Group), he found it hard to sustain his usual “Take the Long View” outlook. As Vanderkam’s article relates:
“[Matt] recalls being in his car afterward. His wife was driving. He looked out the window and saw other people in their cars, heads moving to the music. ‘Life goes on, but in my car it felt like life was at a standstill.’”
Fortunately, Matt and his doctors found a treatment that has enabled him to effectively manage his chronic disease during the decade since. If anything, his commitment to long-view living is even stronger, with an intense approach to living every day. (Although those of us who have known Matt for years would debate whether that’s really all that new!)
In summarizing Matt’s and other cancer survivors’ experiences, the article wraps: “For all the different reactions, one theme emerges: Surviving tends to make people think that there is no point wasting time and energy on things that are neither meaningful nor enjoyable.”
As you consider this and future elections, you may want to heed Matt’s and his fellow survivors’ life experiences. Focus on the details you can control in your life. Don’t “fool around with small stuff,” as Matt advises. Hire someone else to mow your lawn. If you have been longing to do something … do it.