Consciously Curate Your Life.

December 22, 2023

Consciously Curate Your Life.

May 29, 2023

Most people say they would prefer to just get death over with quickly. I suppose they hate to imagine the alternative: a long, slow death march to decrepitude that isn’t just painful but a burden to others. Does that describe you?

And while that’s understandable, I’d like to offer another point of view by asking you a few questions:

  1. Would you rather have a big funeral after dying or a big party while still alive? I’d choose the latter.
  1. How might you consciously curate the rest of your life if you knew you only had 3-4 years to live? You’d probably eat more dessert, wouldn’t you?
  1. What would it feel like to be able to have deep, meaningful conversations with those you love before passing? Maybe our final memories wouldn’t be physical pain but instead emotional joy. It would also give us a sense of our impact on others. I want to hear my eulogies before I die. 
  1. What if, in the final months, a life-saving medical solution is discovered that can prolong your life for decades? A sudden death wouldn’t make this possible.  
  1. What if you could spend your last days on the planet exploring the feeling of awe or the meaning of life? This isn’t likely something we could do if we’re surprised by the Grim Reaper.

Based upon her research, Stanford’s Laura Carstensen, a friend of MEA, popularized the socioemotional selectivity theory, which posits that humans change their goals as they age due to the uniquely human ability to understand time. Thus, when young adults see time as open-ended, they prioritize goals that focus on the future, such as learning new information and expanding their horizons through activities like travel or enlarging their social circle. 

Yet, as people grow older and perceive their time as more constrained, their goals shift to become more focused on emotional gratification in the present. This leads people to prioritize experiences that are meaningful, such as deepening relationships with close friends and family and savoring favorite experiences. It also leads to more happiness at a time in life that many of us would dread: the last few years, months, or days of our lives. 

So, the next time this question is posed to you, reconsider that your mindset about life may be very different in your later years than it is when you have a long runway of life ahead of you. 

-Chip

P.S. If you want some guidance on living the fullest rest of your life, I highly recommend you check out one of MEA's most popular faculty member Barbara Waxman's workshop The Consciously Curated Life Feb 12-17 in Baja. Bring your spouse or partner given this is over Valentine's Day.

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

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 to 
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