Everything seems to be perfect. Your health is at an all-time peak, your career is well established, your relationships are going smoothly. And you’re only 30. As the world average life expectancy increases, you have maybe at least another 40 to 50 years, probably more to live. A lot of time to do the things that you want to do or achieve. No worries.
Unfortunately, not everyone is going to live up to the reported life expectancy. Anything could happen between the time you read this article and finish reading it. My friend passed away in his sleep. He was athletic and without any health issues. He was only 18. No matter how healthy or young you are, death is a part of life that you can’t escape from. But instead of getting depressed thinking about your funeral and the afterlife, let’s look at five reasons why thinking about death is great for your career, business and life.
1 – Positive Mindset.
This might seem counterintuitive but after thinking about your last day on earth, challenges or fears will instead become opportunities or possibilities. Let’s imagine that you are now 80 and on your deathbed, what would you think about? Imagine what you have achieved. Take a moment… Now think about your regrets. What did you want to do but never did? Perhaps you have always wanted to go skydiving or start your own business? Or maybe you wanted to switch careers but felt too comfortable in the job that you hated but paid the bills? Was there someone you liked but were too afraid to approach because of the fear of rejection? Are you going to let fear or being comfortable hold you back from your potential?
2 – Start Taking Action.
In today’s world of seemingly unlimited information at our fingertips, we can read and research almost anything. You use the internet to prepare yourself for everything. The job interview, how to learn a new language, find love, how to start a new business, build a website, where to travel, what to eat; the possibilities are endless. Even when you are sure about certain things, having that extra information gives you comfort. But do you ever feel like you are always preparing yourself with knowledge but never really doing the things you need or want to do? Hours are spent on acquiring knowledge or information that whilst useful, is not relevant to what you need or want. Having an end date creates a sense of urgency where you need to start doing rather than just reading or talking about things. Start taking action before you run out of time.
3 – Eliminate Distractions and Focus on Priorities.
Developments in technology improve the quality of life but also increase the pace of life. Faster internet, less travel time, more efficient washing machines, people delivering you all sorts of exotic foods, services at the tap or swipe of a phone screen. You have more time to do the things you want to do or do you? Do you feel like you never have enough time? That time seems to disappear and the days just merge? Do you ever find yourself trying to send a message to a friend, only to end up scrolling through random cat videos or spending hours on Wikipedia with more than 20 new tabs on your browser? These distractions will suck up your life because you will never have enough time to do the things that you want to do. Being aware of your mortality will ensure that you take note and focus on your priorities whenever you start drifting off into the sphere of distractions.
4 – Stop Procrastination.
Have you always wanted to do something different with your career or scale your business? What’s stopping you? Are you waiting for the right moment, the perfect moment? When you are younger, there is a false sense of security, that you always have enough time to do things that you want to do. But would you feel the same if there was an expiry date? Death is the final deadline. You can’t change the final deadline. No more delays; if something is in your control, why delay your progress? Do you want to be stuck in the same position in 5 years or even a year from today?
5 – Set your life in order.
Life becomes more precious. Days of living recklessly or wasting time will become a thing of the past as you start thinking about your future. Start planning for the future and live in the moment. Be aware and stop living life on autopilot. It might sound morbid but start writing your will and have life insurance. Look after your health. What other streams of income are possible? Create a system that will not just look after you but your family as well.
Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.Norman Cousins
Are you feeling uncomfortable, perhaps slightly panicking? Maybe this is what you need to wake up. Take a deep breath. Maybe a few deep breaths. Done? Good. What are you going to do about your life right now?
If you need help in finding direction or taking action in your life, let’s connect: https://www.naimzainal.com