“One day at a time” is the ubiquitous mantra of alcoholics and addicts everywhere. It’s a strategy used by millions of people around the world, not only those dealing with addiction, but anyone trying to survive just one more day.
Countless individuals, from the moment they wake up in the morning, strive to create a day where they will say no to alcohol, drugs, or any other addiction. Others begin each day wondering how they will put food on the table, while countless more will agonize over how to deal with their chronic illness or depression and still keep a roof over their heads until tomorrow.
Every day, children are born into this environment, where the adults in their life are in survival mode. They learn to take one day at a time alongside their parents. Each day feels the same, 24/7. It terminates their childhood and robs them of their future.
Live 168 versus 24/7
People often ask me about our foundation’s name.
“What’s the difference between living 168 hours per week and living 24/7?”
It is difficult to answer this question because the question itself is flawed. The term “24/7” means “every day” or “all the time.” Each day looks like the other. However, in our experience, people don’t live 24/7, they survive 24/7.
They are taking one day at a time because it is their only option. Their environment, extenuating circumstances, and the vicissitudes of life have taken their toll and they feel hopelessly stuck in survival mode.
Living 168 hours per week, conversely, is all about a life of meaning and progress. The limitless opportunities of life open up to us. Those who choose this life dedicate each of their 168 hours to specific purposes that fuel their passion and the direction they want their lives to go. They aren’t just alive, surviving, they are living life to its fullest.
So why don’t people choose to live 168?
Getting out of survival mode
Living 168 isn’t just a choice, it is a gift. All of us have grasped the hands of those who have selflessly bent down to lift us up. Parents, teachers, friends, associates, and even complete strangers have been there to help us accomplish what we couldn’t on our own. They were there to pull us out of survival mode and place us on a more meaningful path.
Gratitude for these selfless acts helps us recognize our position in life for the gift that it is. Gratitude also gives us the strength and resolve to lift others. Accordingly, as we look into the eyes of those who grasp our outstretched hands, we don’t see indigence or ignorance, we see ourselves, looking up at those who lifted us.
Technically, 168 hours a week and 24/7 are the same; they both include all the time there is. The key is in the application.
Surviving 24/7 is an act of self-preservation, existing one day at a time. Sleep, when it is possible, is a welcome escape from the rigors of another day finally over. Time isn’t an ally, it is often a cruel taskmaster, filling each day with pain and drudgery.
Those who live 168, however, grab every minute of the day and stuff it full of life. Your work, family, and friendships all thrive in the abundance you offer. It is a life worth sharing—with everyone.
All you have to do is bend a little and reach out your hand.