Book Review: 20,000 Days and Counting

Robert D. Smith is one of those new authors that you really want to read. Having been the close friend and manager for Andy Andrews (author of The Traveler’s Gift), Smith has consistently been behind the scenes, until now.

20,000 Days and Counting is designed to be a quick read, which makes sense when you consider that the premise is to focus in on your impending death and live each day with that level of intensity.

This might sound a bit morbid, but Smith makes a compelling case for accepting that your life may end at any moment in order to develop a big picture perspective on your purpose. The idea is not to shirk off responsibility because today might be the last, but to invest your time and energy into what’s most important; to “chase your purpose” every single day.

Take time by the forelock. Now or never! You must live in the moment, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.”

– Henry David Thoreau

The basis for the title and concept of the book come out of Smith’s own mid-life planning session. After 20,000 days alive, he buckled down for 48 hours to plan out his next 20,000 days. From embracing your strengths, to waking each morning with intensity, to seeking rejection in order to obtain success, the author shares the ingredients that have brought fulfillment and excitement to his own life.

My favorite nugget from the book are Smith’s 7 Questions to Seize the Essence of Today. Here are the three that immediately resonated with me (and I woke to answer this morning):

  1. What memories am I going to create today?
  2. What challenge am I going to overcome today?
  3. What life-changing decision(s) am I going to make today?

20,000 Days and Counting took only a few hours to read; time well spent when you could create a life of intensity that completely alters your next 20,000 days.

Have patience with your dreams and the expectations you have for others. Be impatient with yourself daily.”

– Robert D. Smith

To learn more, I highly recommend following Smith’s blog, The Robert D.

Giveaway! Enter to win 20,000 Days and Counting: The Crash Course for Mastering Your Life Right Now in two easy steps:

1) Become an email subscriber if you aren’t already. You can subscribe here.

2) Share the number of days you’ve been alive and your hope for the next 20,000 on this post.

The subscriber with the most compelling comment by the end of the day Monday will receive a brand new copy of 20,000 Days and Counting!

MST. A special thanks to the author for providing a copy of this book for review. Contest is limited to addresses in the United States, including APO/FPO addresses with US Zip Codes. [post_ender]

  1. Ken, thank you for your inspiring comment. I love your 55 gallon drum of a bucket list, what a wonderful way to describe your excitement for life. I am going to send you the copy of the book that the author shared for the review – it is signed by the author. I hope you don’t mind a few highlights 🙂

  2. I am 24,091 and my wife is 25,916 and I am her 24/7 caregiver. I know that in time I will have to confront life alone.,I have a 55 gallon drum for my bucket list. When the time comes I’ll have many decisions to make for the rest of my life. It will be a challenge to make the very most of those remaining days.I have so many wonderful memories and hope to make many many more. I have told anyone that will listen that our memories are the only thing we do take to our graves. I’m hoping this book will show me the path to making the very most of that time.

  3. Thanks for your comment, Wendy! So much of what we “busy” ourselves with doesn’t reflect what we really want to spend our time on. I think you would really appreciate the author’s concepts on how to make your shift a reality. A free copy is coming your way!

  4. 25,600 exactly today. Whew. Seems like a lot more sometimes. I would like to slow down and shift to doing what I love. Looking forward to your next posts this week on “escaping” to get some ideas on how. Thanks, Emily!

  5. 11,537 days. Hopefully debt-free within a thousand or so more days and then staying that way.

  6. 14,026 days as of today. Certainly does make you pause and consider what you have left. I will be grateful just to experience another 14,000 days, but also hope to complete a service trip in another country.

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