That’s an important number.

It’s the number of minutes we have each day.

Today, I attended the 7th Annual Colorado Culture of Health Conference. One of the keynote speakers was Dr. Wendy Lynch, who was recently named in Forbes “One of Thirteen to Watch in 2013: Unsung Heroes Changing Healthcare Forever,” Her message about the balance of work and wellbeing was compelling.

The presentation focused on human capital and human capital currency. She defined human capital as a set of assets that we all have; our skills, health and motivation. No one can make us increase our skills, become healthier or more motivated without our own involvement. We own our assets!

Think about a time when you made a change in your health, learned a new skill or searched for a source of motivation.  You might have had encouragement, been given a compelling reason to make an adjustment or an ultimatum to make a drastic change.  In the end, it was your choosing and your doing. You are the owner of your assets when it comes to your health, skills and motivation.

Human capital currency is our energy, attention and time. We share that currency when we contribute at work, participate at home and engage in recreational pursuits. We spend our currency because we believe that we will get something in exchange. Typically, we do something because it creates value: a satisfying experience, an intrinsic reward, an extrinsic affirmation or a monetary gain.

Dr. Lynch suggested that wellness is a time preference issue. Consider the following:

  • 50% of Americans feel the biggest thing lacking in their lives is time – not money.
  • During the week, only 47% of all calories are consumed while “only eating” is our sole activity.  The other 53% are consumed while we’re multi-tasking.
  • 4 out of 5 smart phone owners check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up!
  • Adults, 18-64 years of age, only do 17 minutes of fitness activities per day.
  • Of Americans 25 years of age and older, 6.6% engage in health-related self-care each day.

Did these statistics get your attention? They got mine. I had to ask myself if I was spending my 1440 wisely. Not an easy question. If I’m being truthful with myself, my answer varies from an unequivocal “yes” to a resounding “no”.

Time is a fixed resource, constrained and finite. It’s not something I want to squander away or waste. When I engage in activities that are aligned with my values, I know I’m spending my currency wisely! My sense of well being improves; I get motivated to take action and can feel myself thrive.

For this month, I invite you to be healthy, be well and thrive. Be sure to spend a part of your 1440 currency engaging in activities that lift the heart and engage the spirit! And, if you’re interested in how to bring balance and wellbeing into your workplace, give me a call!


To Your Health and Wellbeing,

– Marcia