Here’s Why Taking This Test Will Force You To Honestly Assess Your Life and Find Meaning

March 18, 2024

Emily Esfahani Smith shares how thinking about death forces you to reevaluate your life.

She shares an interesting 'deathbed test' in her book, The Power Of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness

“No matter how near or far off death may be in each of our individual cases, thinking about death forces us to evaluate our lives as they are and to consider what we would change about them to make them more meaningful.

Psychologists call this “the deathbed test.”

Imagine that you’re at the end of your life. Perhaps a freak accident or diagnosis of disease had suddenly shortened your life, or maybe you have lived a long and healthy life, and are now in your eighties or nineties.

Sitting on your deathbed, with only days ahead of you to live, reflecting on the way you have led your life and what you have done and not done,

  • Are you satisfied with what you see?
  • Did you have a good and fulfilling life?
  • Is it a life you are glad that you led?
  • If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently?”

– Emily Esfahani Smith, Author of The Power Of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness

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