I love reading little books like “20,000 Days and Counting” because it can be consumed in less than 2 hours but has a lifetime worth of wisdom and knowledge packaged for less than $20. The book chronicles the life of Robert D. Smith otherwise known as “TheRobertD” by his peers.

20,000 days and counting

Robert is quoted in saying “I wrote this book so you could read it quickly. Why? Because today could be your last day. Life is too short. Because you need to understand what you are about to read immediately.”

On average, the number pages on the books I read are between 250-300 pages so this little gem was a welcome relief. Although a short read, the book has a lifetime worth of knowledge and wisdom packaged in a slim profile. Although I can go on endlessly about every great point or quote the author has made, I will condense this review into short summaries and life lessons.

The book focus on two main points:

  1. Live intently with the end in mind.
  2. Live as though today is your last day.
For most people, and myself included, we sometimes forget that life is unexpected and can end at any moment and without any notice. His motto is “Life is short. Our Days are numbered. Our lives are limited. Life can pass extremely fast.” Therefore, we must live with a sense of urgency, always pushing ourselves to maximum potential and prioritizing our relationships with those who we spend our time with. Robert also mentions that having a crystal-clear vision for life and living with your true values are also hallmarks of a life well lead.

Lessons taken from the book:

  1. Live each day as if it were your last. Create a life statement, contact important people you have not seen in a very long time and number your days daily. Again, the emphasis on urgency.
  2. Learn how to die so you can learn how to live: Be prepared to die at anytime. Create a life purpose immediately.
  3. Eat dessert first: If you don’t stop to celebrate the little steps along the way, you get burned out!
  4. Motivation is a myth: This is my personal favorite because I always say you can’t make anyone motivated. However, if they find their passion, the motivation will follow.
  5. You only have two choices: Do or do not. No such thing as “try.”
  6. Always ask why: Question yourself and ask first if this is my own fault because when you first question yourself before putting the blame on others, you have the power and advantage.
  7. Focus on your morning vision: The first thing you should do is be grateful, rise quickly and meditate.
  8. Conquer rejection forever: He gives a great example of someone who got rejected 56 times before his book reached the NY Times best seller list and catapulted him to write 5 other books in twenty-five languages.
  9. Ripples: Have clear objectives in life. A clear process and agenda to carry your life vision through.

How to apply the lessons above:

  • Step 1: Determine the number of days you have been alive. Are you shucked? Amazed?
  • Step 2: Two Questions to ponder: What is important right now? What is next for you?
The final part of the book is one of my favorite is because I cherish my mornings more so than any other part of my day. My morning routine is the rudder to my day. He insists on asking the following questions:
  1. Whose life am I going to brighten today?
  2. What three things am I most grateful for today?
  3. What memories am I going to create today?
  4. What challenges am I going to overcome today?
  5. What value am I going to create today?
  6. How much joy can I create for other and myself today?
  7. What life-changing decision(s) am I going to make today?
I thoroughly enjoyed RobertD’ book but most of all, I learned a great deal of knowledge and wisdom. Anytime someone writes a book with the emphasis on living with urgency and with the end in mind, I pay attention. Its true – life is short.
As for me, every day I wake up, I am living my passion. Although I am not making any money with it right now, I know the money will come but the money is not the reason what I think about in the morning. Instead, I focus on how I can help others and as a result of that, the money will come. I know it.
What lessons have you learned by reading this review? What is your most favorite one? Please comment below – I review and respond to all comments received!