Sometimes I get stuck in a funk, feeling desperate or depressed. It can be hard to even remember why or how it was that I felt good before.
If I can just find a moment or two of conscious awareness in these times, I remember that there are many ways to shift this experience. One extreme but effective way I’ve learned is to change my perspective drastically — by imagining I’m going to die.
Here’s how to do it: Close your eyes and take a moment. Pretend you just heard that, without a doubt, for sure, due to a freak and sudden painless accident, you are going to die precisely one year from today. Now ask yourself, What would I do?
Sit back and see where your mind goes. Just watch your mind for a minute. You’ll probably hear yourself say something like, “Well, I definitely wouldn’t worry about that anymore.” And then maybe, “I’d go do that, why not?”
Consider making those changes in your life right away.
But don’t do anything yet, obviously. This is just an exercise. Write down a few of the ideas that dawn on you.
Then try changing the timeframe. If you did one year the first time, now try three months or five years. And then sit back and see where your mind goes. You can try your own timeframe: one week, six months, or ten years.
It can be useful also to try a timeframe that is longer than you expect to live (particularly if you already have a specific life expectation for medical or other reasons.)
You’ll probably find yourself grateful about things you took for granted, angry about things you’ve been wasting time on for months or years, depressed about the repetitiveness of a pattern that you haven’t broken yet, and maybe excited that it’s time to take a chance on that thing you’ve been longing to try.
That’s what happens for me. And I usually see something cool that I hadn’t seen before.
When we remember that we all have this terminal condition called life, and that no one gets out of here alive, we can touch that mysterious miracle that we do have this time, at least. And that’s a change in perspective that has snapped me out of many a funk.
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by Tony Brasunas on October 5, 2014
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