A Will To Live: A Life-Changing Exercise

Think about and visualize this scenario: You find out you only have 9-12 months to live due to an incurable illness. In detail, describe how you’d want to live. Most tend to believe they want a luxurious life full of material possessions, travel & adventure. Seriously question this. Is it really important and what you’d want to focus on during the last few months of your life? Perhaps if your life was already pretty good in all other areas, it may interest you. For most, there are better alternatives. Truly contemplate in detail what would honestly make you happy and fulfilled. Be realistic about what you can create. What makes you feel like you’re madly, deeply in love with yourself and life? Spend time deciding on a plan. What would you let go of? What would you change? In your current relationships, if they’re not good, what can you do to change that? What do you think their reaction would be if they knew you were dying? Would either of you waste this time in conflict? If there are people that only bring negativity into your life, would you waste a second even talking to them during your brief time alive? If you want different relationships, what can you do differently to try to meet those people? What about your work? Are you happy and fulfilled with your job? Or do you work just for the income or because you feel you have to in order to be successful or please others? What would you do if none of that were an issue? What are you passionate about and would do for free just because you love it so much? What are your dreams for yourself and the ideal life you’d live? If you already are doing your ideal work, but aren’t satisfied with your work conditions or those you work with or for, what would you change? What about who you are as a person-your personality, habits, how you speak, how you treat others, etc.-what works and doesn’t work? What would you improve upon? Think of people you consider ideal, and what specifically about them you’d like to emulate. Be creative when answering all of these questions. Spend as many hours or days as you need to seriously contemplate what you would do if you only had a brief time to live. Write it all down. Then start to think about how you can incorporate all you’ve envisioned to create your ideal life starting now, despite the fact that you’ll likely have years to live. Live so excited by life that death isn’t even a factor. You’ll just enjoy each moment, each day fully.

Alternative Exercise: Think about what you would do if there were no obstacles in your way, if you had plenty of resources such as money. Aside from the typical material desires, go through the questions above to design your ideal life.