Today, a tweet went scrolling past my computer screen announcing that it was exactly 100 days until the 115th Boston Marathon. Not too long after, I found myself watching today’s TED video with Neil Parischa, founder of the 1000 Awesome things blog and author of the bestselling book of the same name. He made a statement that most of us only have 100 years to live, so depending where you are on that timeline, is it really worth swirling and twirling in the gloom and doom of our lives. It is a matter of perspective. It made me think, 100 is a powerful number. It is a motivator. And it can be a lifetime.
So, I did a bit of “googlesearch” on the number 100 and here are my curated findings:
- Not only is it 100 days until the Boston Marathon, but this just may be the last year with the current qualifying standards. Based on the one day sell-out and those left in the cold, it is very likely that the 116th Big Daddy marathon will have recalibrated qualifying standards. I just may have to prove that I am not a one-time wonder and this may be my best year to do so.
- For those of you averse to even thinking about running a marathon, you can focus on the fact that today is exactly 100 days from the new IRS tax deadline this year: April 18, 2011. Due to the observance of Emancipation Day in Washington D.C., we all have an extra three days to file, fret, or extend. Since I just may be running the Boston Marathon, I think I’ll stick to the traditional deadline. Somehow Heartbreak Hill and taxes don’t sound like a winning combination.
- 100 was also the number of days it took to defeat Napoleon at Waterloo after being exiled on the island of Elba. A reminder that no matter how much you think you rule the world, your downfall could be just 100 days away.
- President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid out an impressive first 100 days of his presidency that every subsequent president has aspired to live up to. Facing a dismal economic environment and a dispirited electorate he managed to work with Congress to pass 15 major laws, deliver 15 messages to Congress and 10 speeches, hold press conferences and cabinet meetings twice a week and sponsor an international conference, while making all major policy decisions, foreign and domestic. Historian Arthur Schlesinger notes that he "never displayed fright or panic and rarely even bad temper." I challenge you to go 100 days without a bad temper! Check out these cartoons from those Hundred Days of 1933.
- Of course 100 years is a century, a lifetime, and it seems like a really long time, but it in reality it is your fleeting chance to make your mark, leave the world a better place, and let someone know the power of unconditional love. According to Paul Simon there may be 100 Ways to Leave Your Lover, but I also bet competing for equal attention are 100 Ways to Fall in Love.
So do one small thing or one big decision today that inspires your next 100 days or leaves a lasting impression as you live out your precious 100 years. What will you be celebrating on April 18, 2011 or on your 100th birthday? Here's to wishing you a journey that produces more serendipities than regrets. And here's to embracing the next 100 days (and the next 100 . . . and the next 100, and the next . . .).