[The "Tail End" Framework]

“We have two lives. The second life begins when we realize we only have one.” —Confucius


This Saturday was my birthday. And I was lucky to celebrate it with the 3 people who mean the world to me.

The quality time I spent with them reminded me of this life-changing essay I read a while back. It’s called “The Tail End” by Tim Urban.

Let’s dive in.

Tim starts off with this simple chart of a human lifespan (in units of weeks). One box = one week.

Tim was 34 at the time, so imagine more than 1/3 of those weeks “crossed out” for him.

But rather than measure the rest of his life in # of weeks, he measures it in activities.

For example, he said he has “a little under 60 winters left.”


“I read about 5 books a year, so even though it feels like I’ll read an endless number of books in the future, I actually have only 300 left.”


“I tend to limit myself to around one ocean swim a year. So as weird as it seems, I might only go in the ocean 60 more times.”

But here’s the profound part…


Some moments decrease dramatically over time.

Like, days spent with parents.

Let’s say you see your parents 6 times per year (one weekend every other month). But before college, you saw them pretty much every day.

Assuming they live healthily into their 90s, you only have 360 more days together… total.

Read that again. 👀

6 weekends (12 days) per year x 30 more years = 360 days.

Let that sink in.

Now, compare those 360 days to your first 18 years of seeing them ~every day. The time you spent with them before you graduated high school (7k days) was 95% of your total time with them over the course of your life…

You’re now enjoying the last 5% of your total in-person hangouts. This is the “tail end.

As Tim says, “despite not being at the end of your life, you may very well be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important people in your life.”

So what do we do with that wake-up call? (Besides try to invent time travel…)


Here are my 3 takeaways:

1). Try to live close to the people you love.

We probably see the people who live in the same city 10x as often as we see the people who live a flight away.

I’ve told a few friends about this framework. And I kid you not— after I explained it, they decided to move across the country to be closer to their parents (or moved their parents closer to them). They’re so much happier now. Minimizing future regret is a powerful thing.

2). Don’t leave time together up to chance.

Schedule the dates when you’ll see the most important people in your life throughout 2024. If you do it now, your calendar won’t accidentally become too busy to see them.

If it’s not in the calendar, it won’t happen. Specifically, I like to plan all our family vacations at the beginning of every year.

3). Be mindful of how little time you have left together.

If you’re in your last 10% of time with someone you love, try to be more aware of it. And make every day with them count.

Plan new things to do together. Ask them interesting questions. Tell them how you feel about them (to an embarrassingly frequent extent).

Life’s too short for things to go left unsaid. And these are the moments that matter most.

Btw, you can find the original article by Tim Urban here. I hope you enjoy the illustration of how many dumplings he has left to eat in his lifetime.

Until next week,


P.S. Thank you to everyone who congratulated me on crossing 200k LinkedIn followers this weekend (after just 8 months). Here’s the full post. I seriously started this year with 1k followers. If you’ve been thinking about growing your personal brand, now is the time. Book a private, 60-min coaching session with me.

I’ll teach you the exact system that has worked for me and dozens of my clients. Learn more, read all the reviews, and view my calendar here. (I only have 7 dates left in October.) 🔥

P.P.S. I’m sending a warm welcome to everyone who joined The Quiet Rich last week. Learn more about The Quiet Rich here.

And you can read all the past Quiet Rich newsletters on this site. 🎉