What the hell am I talking about when I say death motivation and is there actually such a thing?
Last week a person I knew died. He was a young man, not ill, and neither did he die in an accident. He had a perfectly normal and ordinary day. Went to his job, played with his kids, went for a walk, had diner, and went to bed to be prepared for the next day.
But he never woke up. His family found him dead the next morning in his bed. This young man had dreams about his life. He was making plans for the Christmas vacation, for the summer, and so on.
My Near-Death Experience
Some years ago I had a bad accident and I had a near-death experience. I was 17 and I was getting prepared to take my exams and enter university. I was studying hard and nothing could stop me. At least this is what I had in mind.
And then boom! One day I opened up my eyes and I was lying on a bed at the hospital with tubes and wires all over my body. I had no idea where I was. I just could not move or talk and I had a white sheet covering me.
Then something happened. I returned back to the dark of my sleep, heard noises of people gathering around me. I felt like I was diving inside an endless dark when suddenly the dark turned into light, white, intense light.
While I was in the darkness I was feeling nervous, anxious, frustrated, and alone. When I entered the light I stopped listening to what was happening around me. I felt calm and pleased and it was so, so, good I did not want it to end. Funny thing, I did not know what was happening or why I was where I was but at that moment I somehow knew I was dying.
I don’t care whether you believe it or not. It doesn’t matter. Sometimes even I question this experience of mine. At some point, doctors around me did something and made me return. I remember feeling mad about it, I did not want to return. I don’t know if there was something else or how it would finally be like but that feeling was amazing and unforgettable.
My Experience with Death Motivation
Lying on that hospital bed I was thinking of several bad things, all of them related to my certain death within a little time. One of these thoughts was my funeral. I imagined my family devastated about it. My loving friends crying and feeling bad. I even saw some of those who did not care a lot about me being there just without giving a shit about me.
And you know what? After visualizing my death I decided I did not want to die. At least not at that time. I was only 17 and yes the feeling of dying was amazing but if one thing is for sure in this life this is our death. There were so many things I wanted to live and do until I die. And apart from that, I wouldn’t stand myself if I were the cause of grief to my family and friends, not if I could do something to change it.
That was the moment I decided to use death motivation. To recover from what had happened was a long fight against all odds. It took a long time and a lot of difficulties to overcome but I did it.
‘Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life’Bertolt Brecht
Relative Read: 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Thankful for Your Difficulties
Death Motivation – A More Official Approach
A few months later a friend of mine bought me a book. It was a book by psychologist Richard Carlson named “Don’t sweat the small stuff….and it’s all small stuff”. There was a chapter in this book titled “Imagine your own funeral”. In this chapter, he claims that this is a great exercise to recognize your true life priorities and understand what is and what is not important in life.
The good thing when exercising this thought is that you are still alive so you still have the time to think over your life and your choices. You also have the time and the opportunity to change whatever you don’t like.
This chapter in Carlson’s book proposes death motivation as a chance to reevaluate our lives and our choices. Thinking about your own death is terrifying and painful but it is also a good idea. This exercise could work as a reminder of who we want to be and what is more important in life.
The thought of your own death could work as a good wake-up call and be the starting point of valuable changes.
“You needn’t die happy when your time comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from the beginning to the end.”Stephen King
Relative Read: Commitment Can Set You Free – 5 Reasons That Prove It
Death Motivation Questions to be Answered.
If you thought of your own death as something that happens today and tomorrow is your funeral.
Are you ready to die?
The life you live is under your terms or the terms of society, your family, and so on?
Do you appreciate everything you have done so far and the people you have in your life?
Is there something you want to change? Something you want to experience? Somewhere you want to go?
Is there something you have created and brought in this world for which you are proud?
Do you live every moment or do you live your life thinking about the past and the future?
Your loved ones might also die at any moment. Have you shown them your love today? Wouldn’t you want them to know that you love them?
What is your purpose in life? Are you here for a reason? What do you want the others to remember you for?
” If you live each day as it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.”Steve Jobs
You know, you might really die tomorrow. Feel the urgency of this thought and just get motivated.
“Almost universally, when people look back on their lives while on their deathbed […] they wish they had spent more time with the people and activities they truly loved and less time worrying about aspects of life that, upon deeper examination, really don’t matter at all that much. Imagining yourself at your own funeral allows you to look back at your life while you still have the chance to make some important changes.”Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and It’s All Small Stuff
“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”Mark Twain