I read an article this week about the latest self-development workshops. It follows the surprising success of an American book One Month to Live: Thirty Days To A No-Regrets Life which asks what you would change in your life if you were asked that question. Workshops are now inviting people to consider working through the way we spend our lives and how they might be improved.
The first exercise asked : what would you do if you had 20 years to live; 10 years; 5 years; 2 years; 1 year; 6 months; 3 months; 30 days; 1 day? For each time limit, you write for 10 minutes. ‘Time once spent cannot be reclaimed’ they say before asking people to journal how they spend every minute of the day. How much time is spent on work, on watching TV, on sport and hobbies, eating, sleeping, etc? ‘Once an hour, minute or moment is over, it’s gone forever.’ Have you got the balance right?
So, if you were certain your life would end in a few weeks, what would be your biggest regret? I guess for many people it would be about spending more time with the people you love. It probably wouldn’t be about seeing who has been kicked out of Big Brother this week. When I take funerals for people who have died suddenly, I often hear stories of regrets, things left unsaid, places and people not visited. Of course most of us don’t know when we are going to die but if we spent some time pondering these questions perhaps we might make some life changes for the better.
5 BIG LIFE QUESTIONS
1. If you only had one month to live, what would you change?
2. If you were certain your life would end in a few weeks, what would be your biggest regret? Why?
3. Look through your mobile phone contacts. Who do you consider the most important? How often do you phone them compared to others on the list?
4. If you knew you had only one month to live, what material goods would you give away, sell or put in the bin?
5. For what would you like to be remembered? How are you contributing to this goal right now?
I am going through a bit of No 4 right now as I move to a house with less storage and cupboard space and no double garage to fill with junk and old furniture. If you want any garden chairs, a Gazelle exercise glider (don’t say a word, don’t even think it!), a large pink comfy chair – in fact, why don’t you come and have a rummage before Freecycle gets it all?
Over to you now…