I recently read an article posted on LinkedIn about death and confronting our final deadline. The author, Ron Shaich’s quoted, “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” I have read that sentence over and over again, and it makes me think. Yes, we all have that day coming, but most of us have absolutely no idea when the arrival will be. As an organizer/planner that is a pretty tough fact to swallow. The author of the article also mentions looking back from his death bed, at his life. If we all stopped right now, laid down and imagined, we were going to die what does your premortem picture look like? He also references a cognitive psychologist and author Gary Klein who conceived the mental simulation called the “premortem”: you look into the future, think about what you want to achieve, and imagine your efforts have failed. Wow.
What matters in your life? I recently attended a funeral of a complete stranger. Throughout the service, tears came to my eyes as I could feel the love and passion for this beautiful woman surround me. She lived a full and happy life, and her children spoke of her achieving her dreams and passing away content and fulfilled. Don’t we all pray for that outcome? If I follow my father’s path, I have around 16 years left to live. Thinking premortem and dreaming about my future, I know I don’t want to fail. The thoughts project a sense of urgency in all of my daily choices. I am forced to think about the excuses I make and the commitments I have. No, I don’t believe I am going to die young, nor follow my father’s path but I do know that every day that I wake up, I have decisions to make. We all do. They are as simple as telling your son that you love him, or saying good morning to a stranger walking past you. Those choices impact not only you but so many people around you. How do you choose to confront your final deadline? Even more importantly, how will you confront tomorrow?