15 Seconds

My first job out of law school was with a huge national law firm. One Saturday morning, on a perfect June day, all of the first year associates were required to attend a full day accounting workshop to learn the fundamentals of public accounting.

We broke for lunch after the morning session. The weather was glorious. I ate a sandwich outside and stopped at the Gap to buy a t-shirt. Then I went back upstairs to the windowless conference room where the workshop was being held. The two CPAs began to talk, again, about balance sheets and the difference between compiled, reviewed and audited financial statements. Above their heads was a clock, and I watched 15 seconds tick by.

And I thought, "I have no idea how long my life will be, but I just lost 15 seconds of it that I can't get back." I couldn't sit there another moment. I packed up my things and walked out into the sunshine. The firm wasn't happy with me, but I was happy to have reclaimed an afternoon in the sun.

The seconds of your life come in limited supply. Once spent, they do not get returned. Do not squander those precious seconds.