Bad weeks don’t seem so rough when you apply this perspective to life. Here’s how.

This post was originally published on Wait But Why.

This is what a long human life looks like in years:

And heres a human life in months:

But today, were going to look at a human life in weeks:

Each row of weeks makes up one year. Thats how many weeks it takes to turn a newborn into a 90-year-old. It kind of feels like our lives are made up of a countless number of weeks. But there they are fully countable staring you in the face.

Before we discuss things further, lets look at how a typical American spends their weeks:

Sources: [1][2][3][4][5].

There are some other interesting ways to use the weeks chart, too:

“Current week” as of May 2014.

But how about your weeks?

Sometimes life seems really short, and other times it seems impossibly long. But this chart helps to emphasize that its most certainly finite. Those are your weeks, and theyre all youve got.

Given that fact, the only appropriate word to describe your weeks is precious. There are trillions upon trillions of weeks in eternity, and those are your tiny handful.

Going with the precious theme, lets imagine that each of your weeks is a small gem, like a 2 mm, .05-carat diamond.

Heres one:

If you multiply the volume of a .05-carat diamond by the number of weeks in 90 years (4,680), it adds up to just under a tablespoon.

Looking at this spoon of diamonds, theres one very clear question to ask: Are you making the most of your weeks?

In thinking about my own weeks and how I tend to use them, I decided that there are two good ways to use a diamond:

1) Enjoying the diamond.

2) Building something to make your future diamonds or the diamonds of others more enjoyable.

In other words, you have this small spoonful of diamonds and you really want to create a life in which theyre making you happy.

And if a diamond is not making you happy, it should only be because youre using it to make other diamonds go down better either your own in the future or those of others. In the ideal situation, youre well-balanced between #1 and #2 and youre often able to accomplish both simultaneously (like those times when you love your job).

Of course, if a diamond is enjoyable but by enjoying it youre screwing your future diamonds (an Instant Gratification Monkey specialty), thats not so good. Likewise, if youre using diamond after diamond to build something for your future but its not making you happy and seems like a long-term thing with no end in sight, thats not great either.

The worst possible way to use a diamond is by accomplishing neither #1 nor #2 above. Sometimes neither happens when youre in either the wrong career or the wrong relationship, and its often a symptom of either a shortage of courage, self-discipline, or creativity. Sometimes neither happens because of a debilitating problem.

Weve all had “Neither Weeks” and they dont feel good.

When a long string of Neither Weeks happens, you become depressed, frustrated, hopeless, and a bunch of other upsetting adjectives. But its inevitable to have Neither Weeks, and sometimes theyre important its often a really bad Neither Week that leads you to a life-changing epiphany.

It can all be summed up like this:

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