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The Deathclock is Wrong

Five weeks ago, we read about the Deathclock. It’s a brain hack to remind us that life is temporary, and to make the most of that short time. 

Today, I’m asking you not to do that. 

The method is effective, but the long term outcome can be… deadly.

In the Deathclock, we picked an arbitrary date in the near future, marked it as our “death day”, and set a counter in our cell phones counting down to the last moments. A constant reminder of death to empower daily life. 

After listening to the thoughts of Dan Sullivan (Strategic Coach) and Peter Diamandis (Human Longevity Inc, xPrize) on their Exponential Wisdom podcast, I’m starting to question the practice. Their point is that so much of life and longevity is believing that you will live a long and prosperous life. Thoughts in the brain have a physiological impact on the body. 

One crazy statistic that they point to, is that the average senior citizen dies within five years of their retirement. Likely because they lose their sense of worth. 

So if you spend years telling yourself that you’ll live to 40, guess what your body starts doing at that age? 

So here’s a crazy thought inspired by Diamandis – what if you tell yourself that you’ll live to 800? It’s insane, I know.* And the odds of making it that far are highly improbable. But what happens when your mind starts living in that frame, and starts looking for the daily patterns to promote longevity? Even if it falls far short of the goal, it’ll still likely outlive someone who only plans to make it to 75. 

Maybe it’s time to turn off that death clock.

*Curiously, medical advances, data mining, genetic research, and nanotechnology are making some of the smartest minds pose some serious questions about the human longevity limits today. 

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