Last words of the famous and infamous

We want to try out a little experiment with you right now: If you own a smartphone, take it out right now, even as you’re reading this. Scroll through your contacts, and look for someone that you care deeply about. Once you’ve found them, click on their name, and open up a text message window. Here comes the interesting part… Try to imagine that today is your last day on earth. Once you’ve got that idea instilled in your mind, write down in the text message window what you would tell your loved one. Since this whole exercise is purely hypothetical, perhaps you’re thinking that the ultimate idea is for you not to press “Send.” But on the contrary, that is exactly what we want you to do.

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Each and every one of us, whether we’re a coffee barista or a sharpshooting basketball star, have many different layers that exist within our personalities. There are the shallow areas, the midrange sectors, and the truly deep places within us that can be hard to excavate. The question is, how do we access these various places inside ourselves? Are they even meant to be discovered? Depending on the type of person you are, it may be easier or harder to get in touch with the various elements of your personality – but there is one thing that is positive: if you knew that today was your last day on earth, it could definitely cause your approach to life to shift, if only for a moment.


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This was the purpose of our initial exercise – to try and encourage you to imagine what it must be like for those individuals in the world who truly do have only a limited amount of time left to live. They are the ones who are reevaluating who they are as people, and wondering if they left any stone unturned. Of course, there are many elderly people who have had wonderful experiences, and are very proud of their actions on this earth – but even they may find themselves in a position to say things they never said, as they reach the very end of their lives.

When it comes to a person’s last words, their entire framework of reference can go out the window. No more are their locked doors, their glass ceilings, their self-made obstacles that have painfully stopped them from saying the things they’ve always wanted to say. When you’re living the last few moments of your life, you are no longer worried about what other people think, and so you say what you truly feel. Based on this idea, the power of our little exercise takes a whole new life. Every day we have on this earth is a gift, and if we can understand that – maybe we can allow ourselves to let go and say what’s important even if we’re not on our deathbed.

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