“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in my life.
Almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and this is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.” – Steve Jobs
Last night I listened to the Tim Ferriss podcast with guest Kevin Kelly. Kevin is an entrepreneur, author and co-founder of WIRED.
He mentioned something that had a strong impact on me.
He has a clock on his computer counting down the time until his death.
How’s that for putting life into perspective?
I immediately ran home and did the same thing. I found the average life expectancy for a man in the U.S. (77.4 years) and subtracted it from my current age (30). I was left with 37.4 years or 13,651 days.
There’s nothing in life that motivates you like impending death. I know this may sound a bit extreme, but think about it for a moment. Would you do things differently if you knew there were only a few days left in your life? Would you set different priorities? Would you follow your passion? Would you spend more time with loved ones?
What if you took that one step further and lived like you only had 6 months left to live. The equals 182.5 days. What would you do differently?
Sometimes we feel like we’re going to live forever. We put stuff off and say, “I’ll follow my passion in the future.” One day we wake up and realize it’s too late. That day never comes.
Practice living like there’s only 6 months left and see how your priorities change.
What do you think? Will you try it? What will you do differently?