Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive.

Bonus: How can your goals improve the present and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral?

(Author: Jonathan Mead)

To Do:

To Stop:

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2 Responses

  1. Not long ago a friend died from breast cancer. Shortly after I heard from family members who had others fall seriously ill or fall away.

    At such time you can’t help but consider the “seize the day” idea, the “live bold or whither”.

    Thing is that there’s something about that way of living that seems *in denial* of living. Setting a fixed, known time limit on life (“live as if today was your last day”), changes the context of everyday life from living to dying.

    Today I will continue work on a site audit of a client who needs actionable advice on how to improve the site’s perfomance. The research, the writing, the teaching, the helping, and the coming up with creative actionable ideas — all those give me tremendous pleasure and satisfaction.

    Throughout my day of work I will look forward to the evening. The shared family meal. An episode of “The Good Wife”! Reading my book tonight! And going to sleep with so much stuff on my to do list left undone that tomorrow is, again, going to be full to the top.

    Would I be doing those things if I would known or suspect I would die at the end of this day? No way!

    I would say last goodbye’s, make sure my things are in order, make sure everything is ready for my departure.

    in other words, living as if you’re dying (soon) changes long term to short term; and changing projects from long term to short term changes their scope up to the point that it changes what you were truly trying to achieve.

    My attempt than is to live as if I will live forever. It removes a tremendous amount of stress (there is no time limit) and many of the time-gamification principles fall away.

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