I just finished a wonderful book called 4000 weeks on our work and our short life. Oliver Burkeman says that human lives are tragically very short. He says assuming one life to be 80 years old, translates to about 4000 weeks. I am nearing 50, so I have only about 1500 weeks to live. If I die early like my father at 60, I have only 500 weeks.

I am embarrassed, I feel I haven’t achieved anything nor do I have property and assets to leave behind for my children. Maybe they will be competent humans unlike me and won’t need the security of assets.

But the pressure on me is immense, I know, my health and vigour is on a declining curve so would be my income. Maybe not. Because I am a knowledge worker and I am continuously working on using my judgement and wisdom to manoeuvre further.

But leave money, fame and fortune. What about the sheer satisfaction of completing a complex project. I have nothing to show. It makes me queasy and I cannot sleep well with that thought.

If you have read so far and resonate with the above thought, then 4000 weeks is a must-read. The author becomes your friend and makes the case of getting out of your productivity, todo, GTD mindset.

The author shows you where is the real value, and why you don’t have to be so hard on yourself! My favourite part was of-course when he quoted my favourite philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurthi.


Here is the anecdote on JK.

In a talk, JK asks the audience, do you want to know my secret?

The huge audience leans forwards to listen to the great master’s secret.

JK says - “I don’t mind what happens.”

This is unconditional living, not tied your memories or time. Out of this comes the right action. The action on what to do is born out of insight, rather than a TODO list.