Some people believe that life is not about how many breaths you take, but instead how many moments take your breath away. What’s for certain is that the time we have is precious. Spend some time today with those you love.

Seconds tick by and turn into minutes. Minutes turn into hours, and hours turn into days. The days turn into years and, before you know it, time has flown by.

Have you ever made a split-second decision? You were going to do X, but then…at the last second…you changed your mind and did Y instead. Maybe it was choosing the path less traveled instead of the wide road. Whatever the reason, mere seconds can be well spent and change lives forever.

Have you ever stopped to consider how many seconds you have? If every second counts, then let’s count the seconds we have. For example, how many seconds do we have in a day? A month? A whole year?

A wise man once said that there are 12 seconds in a year. January 2^{nd}, February 2^{nd}, March 2^{nd}…OK, you get the picture. But those aren’t the seconds we’re talking about! We mean that small unit of time that’s about as long as it takes to say, “one thousand one.”

To figure out how many seconds there are in a year, we’re going to need to know a little math. To convert a certain quantity to a different unit of measure, we need to figure out what is called the conversion factor.

To do this, we need to come up with a ratio — or fraction — that equals one. In the ratio, the conversion factor is a multiplier that gets applied to the larger unit to convert it into the smaller unit through multiplication.

Sound confusing? Don’t worry. A simple example will make things clear. When thinking about how many seconds there are in a year, let’s first figure out the different units of measurement of time involved. We have the second, the minute, the hour, the day, the month and the year.

Let’s start with the largest of these measures: the year. To convert years to the next smallest unit — the month — we have to know how many months are in a year. Since we know there are 12 months in a year, our ratio would be 1:12 (one year:12 months) or 1/12. So, the conversion factor is 12.

If we want to know how many months are in 5 years, we just need to multiply the number of years by the conversion factor. Five years times 12 months/year equals 60 months in 5 years. Easy enough, right?

To figure out even smaller units, you can keep doing multiple conversions to smaller and smaller units. Just make sure that the units you’re using are all the same. For example, there are 24 hours in each day, but not all months have the same number of days. To convert one year to seconds, you’ll need to skip using months and convert to days, hours, minutes and finally seconds.

Each step of the way, you’ll need to compute the conversion factor and then multiply. Here’s what the conversion from one year to seconds would look like:

1 year = 365 days (no, we’re not counting leap years!)

1 day = 24 hours

1 hour = 60 minutes

1 minute = 60 seconds

So…drum roll, please…one year would equal 365 times 24 times 60 times 60 seconds…or 31,536,000 seconds! That’s over 31 million seconds you have to spend over the next year. What will you do with YOUR seconds?

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