The Deathbed List

Published: 24/03/21

Tim Urban is one of my favorite writers. His Religion for the Nonreligious article is one of my favorite pieces of writing ever. It was really transformative for me when I first read it.

In his interview for Tribe of Mentors, Tim talks about his Deathbed List.

When trying to decide what to say yes to, Tim imagines himself on his deathbed, and asks whether this yes will make a difference at the end of his life. He considers it a way to look at decisions with a super zoomed out lens.

This made me think about how I’m living my life at the moment.

I would find it hard to bare if I had:

  • Not stopped smoking tobacco
  • Not tried Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu out of fear
  • Not made regular exercise part of my life’s practice
  • Not travelled on my own

Now, if any of these things were easy fixes for me, I would have done them already. For all of these, there are mental blocks in the way which can only be dissolved from a place of compassion.

Also, these wants could change. Right now they feel evergreen, but I’ve no idea how I’ll feel about all of this in the future.

All that said, I feel that this is a interesting exercise, especially when trying to make big decisions and gain some perspective.


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