Sunday, June 5, 2011

Come Alive

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?

Asking questions about how life would change if one had the foresight to know when one would die is a critical practice.  This question forces one to truly consider what is most important.  Are you running yourself ragged trying to accomplish things, only to realize that with a week, even a year left of life all you want to do is ride your bike?  Many philosophers speak about how the regular contemplation of Death makes Life that much sweeter.  

That being said, if I only had one week left of life, not much would change.  There isn't some treasure to be found, letter to be written, project to be completed that's been burning a hole in my desk, waiting for me to make time.  I live simply enough to not have these forgotten concerns scattered throughout my life.    I'd spend my last week just as I normally would and take the time to say goodbye.  

Oh, and I probably wouldn't go to work! ;-)

Today I thought about the old phrase, "Waste not, want not" and realized that it also applies to Time.


  1. :) I agree with you, but the only difference is that I would still go to work! :P

  2. I would also go to work, but I wouldn't DO work. I'd just go and connect with the people at work that I've come to enjoy. So, I guess that last sentence was more insightful than the rest of the post. Thanks for your comment!