This is a graph of an eighty-year life. Each slice represents one year.
The slices’ sizes are weighted by what percentage that year represents of the whole lifespan to that point. At age one, the first year represents 100% of your whole life, so it is given a value of one hundred. Your second year is given a value of fifty, since it represents 50% of your life at age two.
By the time you get to age 21 and look back on the last year, you find that represents only 4.8% of your life. Furthermore, because each additional year represents a smaller relative portion of your life, three quarters of your life is already over. This is why time seems to go by more quickly as you get older.
In an attempt to offset the depressing nature of this visualization, I have added an unscientific representation of your potential cumulative effect on humanity, good or bad, as your life progresses. This is purely a function of your increasing ability to affect other people in (1) more areas of life and (2) within ever-widening physical bounds as time goes on, combined with the generational effects of your influence on others’ contact with people in their lifetimes.
“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is.”
— Chuck Reid