Heartbeats, Fear and Fighting for Your Life

Last night I stood in the kitchen, waiting for the microwave to ping.

I became hypnotised by the clock and the countdown.

80 seconds, 79 seconds, 78 seconds…

I guess it was the countdown but I started to think about my life and my countdown.

When we think about life we think about the life in front of us and what we want to achieve.

We believe we have lots of time and we can afford to be relaxed about our goals and our dreams.

What if you knew exactly how much of your life was left?

What if your life was on a countdown?

80, 79, 78…


How Many Beats?

Some facts about your heart:

  • Your heart beats approx 80 times per minute.
  • Over the course of an hour it beats 4,800 times.
  • That’s a huge 115,200 times a day.
  • Over the course of a year it would beat 42,048,000
  • If you live to 80 years old your heart will beat approx. 3,363,840,000
  • Over 3 billion beats!

Every now and again an idea will pop into my head that could form the basis of a short story.

I was never able to figure out a structure and ending but the story relates to the above idea and our heartbeat.

In the story the number of heartbeats in your lifetime is already set.

You are on a countdown from 3.363 billion until your heartbeats run out and you die.

In this story the awareness of the countdown drives the choices people make.

In the story you know exactly when your last heartbeat will take place.

As a result your life becomes more urgent.

You become focused on living a life that means something to you and to those around you.

Experiences, enjoyment and helping those around you become the reason you wake up every day.

One of the ideas in the story is heartbeats become a commodity.

You can buy, sell and earn them – like you might in a computer game.

Some people in the story had far less than the average 3.363 billion heartbeats.

This could be due to illness or an event in their life that was unclear but would definitely happen.

For this group of people their hunger to live a life of meaning and fulfillment was even more important.

If say you only had 419,750,000 heartbeats left, approx 10 years, how would this affect your life?

What would be important to you?

What would become unimportant?

How would your life be different?


The Other Side of Fear

Many of the decisions we make, or don’t make, are driven by fear.

Loss aversion makes us play it safe.

What exactly is on the other side of fear?


Think about a time when you were in ‘fear mode.’

What was the situation?

What were you feeling beforehand? Nerves? Sweaty palms? Needing a nervous wee?

This is fear messing with you.

What did you feel after the event?

I imagine what you felt was ‘I’m glad that is over, I was worried about what would happen.’ or ‘That was no where near as bad as I thought it would be.’ or ‘That went a lot better than I imagined.’

Your responses are based on an imaginary situation, a situation created by you.

Fear creates self-doubt which attempts to control us and keep us subdued.

After the event you realise there was nothing on the other side of fear, just life and everyday things.

You got through it, you coped and you feel a little odd for feeling fearful in the first place.

Fear can be a positive force. It can give us an edge. It can help focus our mind.

In most instances we do not use it this way.

When we deal in fear it is the type that builds walls and convinces us we are not good enough.

Fear pushes us back down and keeps us in our metaphorical hole.

If we allow our lives to be influenced by fear (fear that we often create) it is wasting valuable heart beats.

Imagine you have a job you don’t like.

You know making a move to another Department or business is the right one, but you create illogical arguments to stay put:


  • I could fail.
  • I won’t know anyone.
  • I’ll have to start all over again.
  • I won’t know how to answer tough questions.
  • Why should I have to move, when I’m not the issue.

This is fear messing with you.

Imagine this internal argument rages on for a year, possibly more – lets call it two years.

In that time you lose 84 million heartbeats.

In my story you could level up or buy more heartbeats.

In your story, you don’t have the luxury of a level up or buying more hearts.

All you have is your own personal bank account of heartbeats.

If you believe in fate the number of your heartbeats has already been decided.

Depending on your age you could be heartbeat rich or heartbeat poor.

Regardless of your economic heartbeat status, everyone has is a choice about what they do with the time (unknown) they have.

I love the fact you have taken the time to read this post, but you have used up 320 heartbeats doing so.

What difference could you be making to your life?

What difference could you be making to your friends and family?

How will you make each heartbeat count?

80, 79, 78…

Believe and take action

Top Posts & Pages

Recent Posts

Recent Comments




Ian Ruane

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1 other subscriber

ianruane@gmail.com Written by:

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply