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Why Remembering You’re Going to Die Will Wake You Up

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mortality
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I lost it. I was at the cemetery yet again —reading the legacies of those who have left this experience. As I wandered around on a beautiful California morning, I’d come across a section where children lay to rest. Anywhere from a few days to a few years, I’d read their tombstones of the legacies they were able to create in a short time: joy, passion, love and wonder.

I wasn’t there to visit anyone in particular, I was there to wake up. Remembering we’re all going to die is a beautiful way to create clarity and make committed decisions now. I never see this as negative, I see it as an incredible opportunity to step into our greatness, instead of putting it off until next month, year or decade.

In this post, I’ll share 5 reasons as to why it’s important to do what you desire and create a life you can’t wait to wake up for:

1. On The Shortness Of Life

One of my favorite texts of all time comes from Seneca, a stoic philosopher who lived 2,000 years ago. And yet, this essay drives a crucial point home: we all have enough time, if we do it right. But often, we don’t. We put our dreams on hold to seek approval from others, we buy into the mentality of “someday” and end up living a life of regret and what could have beens.

We waste our time with mindless entertainment, gossip and caring way too much about what others think. We take the path others have told us is for us, but deep down we know the truth: it’s not.

So, how can you use your mortality to make bold decisions and live the life you’re called to right now? If you’re here, I know this isn’t you.

“Often a very old man has no other proof of his long life than his age.” – Seneca

2. Remember Your Mortality

The first step in harnessing the power of remembering we don’t have much time is simply to embrace our mortality. This simple shift in awareness is what 99% of people avoid: we know our time here is limited, but we rarely think about it.

Usually, this happens until someone around us experiences a crisis or death and wakes us up. Most people live in an illusion that death is very far off and likely won’t happen to them. But it’s not true. According to research by the United Nations, around 6,500 people die every day in the U.S. alone.

Instead of running from our mortality, face it head on and use it as leverage to ask bold questions:

  • What do you really want?
  • Who are you living for?
  • Are you living the life you’re meant for?

As Steve Jobs famously said in his riveting Stanford commencement speech in 2005: “remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” Every day, take a moment to remember your time here is limited and you have a precious gift. Close your eyes, express gratitude and ensure you set the intention to truly live.

3. Use Reverse Visualization

One of my favorite techniques I use on myself and countless clients or listeners of the podcast is simple: reverse visualization.

We’ve all heard of visualization for success, and it’s a key practice to shift our awareness and gain clarity. But reverse visualization is strategically used to make bold decisions now by leveraging the possibility of regret.

Because most people are slow to make decisions, they miss out on the opportunity cost of a life they can’t imagine. They end up stuck in life, and justify it by saying: “I’ll get around to it next year. When life gets a little less hectic, I’m all in. Someday I’ll launch my own business.”

These are all lies designed to let you and I off the hook from making a committed decision from a place of power.

Pick an area of your life that isn’t working for you and ask a simple question: What does it feel like to wake up in 18 or 36 months when nothing has changed, except your circumstances are much, much worse? Dig deep into that reality —and the ripple effect it causes on every area of your life.

“I would visualize things coming to me. It would just make me feel better. Visualization works if you work hard. That’s the thing. You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.” – Jim Carrey

4. Spend Time With Older People

One of my favorite practices for remembering my own mortality is to have conversations with people in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Undoubtedly, they have the deep wisdom of experience, and have shifted my life countless times.

When I was 24 and on the path to become a financial broker, a 64 year old man looked me in the eye and told me to follow my heart. I could see and feel the regret in this eyes. He had spent his entire life chasing something he didn’t want.

Bronnie Ware was a caretaker for those with little to no time to live, and would have conversations about their biggest regret. She ultimately created a book and platform out of it, compiling the most common themes. Number one was:“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

So, ask yourself: are you on a path designed by others —or one of your choosing? Regardless of the success you create, you’ll feel empty if it’s not truly yours.

5. It’s Your Time

Remembering we’re not here for long is a brilliant way to focus on what matters and release the noise. It’s about living a life on your terms, and not following a path simply because someone said you should. With this reminder in hand, it’s time to go out and make sure you’re living out loud, and never look back with regret.

How do you make sure you’re taking advantage of every single day you’re alive? Let us know how you express gratitude!

Hey, I’m Tommy. I don’t have anything figured out, but I love the process. If any part of this story resonated with you, I’d deeply appreciate a recommend and a share. For more insights, lessons and action steps to create the life you’ve been dreaming of, listen to the Resist Average Academy podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Web.

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Life

Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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Life

3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling

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Our deepest human desire is to cultivate meaning in our lives. Our deepest human need is to survive. (more…)

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Life

Grit: The Key to Your Ultimate Greatness

Grit is an overlooked aspect of success, but it plays a critical role.

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A grit mindset is an essential key to your greatness. It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who give up and never reach their potential. It’s also the difference between success and failure, happiness and misery. If you want to be great and achieve your dreams, then you need grit. Luckily, it’s something that can be learned. Please keep reading to learn more about grit and discover four ways to develop it. (more…)

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