I’d like you to adopt a deathbed mentality.
Jesus Charlotte, what on Earth do you mean you crazy person?!
It’s not as scary as it sounds. In fact, it’s an exercise in liberating yourself from the chains of routine and mediocrity. I started doing this exercise on and off a couple of months ago. I was in my ‘off’ phase when I read The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and one of the principles for living a fuller and more meaningful life involved developing a deathbed mentality.
Despite the word ‘death’ being the most prominent to us here, this is actually a philosophy about life. Often we will put our dreams on the sidelines in place for duties and social responsibilities. While these are important, they don’t make for a very meaningful and fulfilling life because we’re focused on obligation rather than happiness.
This mentality is empowering because we focus on developing our lives and ourselves. We start to really think about the type of person we’d like to be, the deeds that will leave our consciousness feeling peaceful, and the impact we have on those we encounter in daily life.
It’s very simple. Each day, you ask yourself “If today were my last day, what would I do?”
As we focus on the deathbed question, we are bringing our minds into the present and we begin to build a sense of appreciation for the world and the people who inhabit it. The sky will seem a brighter, deeper shade of blue, we suddenly pay attention to the bird song outside our window, the air feels fresher on our skin, and the smiles of people enjoying themselves and finding moments of pleasure in their day will bring a deep sense of wonder and satisfaction to our minds. We start to see the magic in existence and we feel good for it. As we begin to appreciate every moment and every person we meet, our gratitude and appreciations grows, and in turn, our zeal for life will also grow. And we could all do with a big dollop of zeal, right?!
This is not an exercise based in fear; it’s one based in love. We really concentrate on what is important to us in our lives and we start to take steps in creating meaning, using our time more efficiently and lovingly, and we have the awareness to consciously stop wasting our days doing things that don’t serve us.
As we embrace this philosophy, we also find we don’t allow pettiness to drag us down. We don’t need it! And we certainly don’t want it! We finally stop putting things off until that elusive tomorrow that never seems to come, and we take action now.
Each time we ask the question “If today were my last day, what would I do?”, we move forward from mediocrity into awareness and we cultivate the life we have always dreamed of. We find our power, because if there’s one thing we all don’t want to do, that’s waste our lives. We each want to have a positive impact on the world and know that when we leave, we leave it a little better than it was before.
Be happy. Be you.