Sometimes, coming to the reception to a psychologist, a person can not articulate exactly what is going wrong in his life, that he was concerned with what he would like to understand. He said something vague, such as “I am not satisfied with their lives,” “seems to be a globally all right, but something is not right …”. Then the psychologist can offer homework reflect on this question: “What if you found out that you have to live one year, how would you have spent?”.

Thinking about the answer to this question, the person reviewing its priorities. At the forefront true values, and all superficial, externally imposed disappears. This question – as a litmus test, helps to identify the most important thing for a person.

And then it turns out that a lot of things, of which, for the most part, is a person’s life, really is not so important to him. The fact that he considered valuable, it is often unnecessary tinsel. Having discovered this, the man asks the question: “What prevents me now fill our lives with what is really valuable for me?”.

The true value

In answering this question, we raise two very important topics – about the real values and on the finiteness of our lifetime. What I will try to get done this year? How to change my usual life? Everyone has their own answer.

“I will spend more time with their loved ones.”

“Take a trip around the world, I always dreamed of this.”

“Now I have a lot of work to give my daughter the best of everything, and in fact she really need me – my love and my attention. And I’m so tired at work, that’s what she did not give. I have spent this year with her. ”

“I’ve always wanted to make a pilgrimage to the holy places.”

“I’ll go with the job, rent an apartment, leave Bali and will write a book.”

Nuclear physicist Dmitry Gusev from the play “The Nine” ( “Gogol-center”, Moscow) during the experiments received a lethal dose of radiation, and to learn that he left to live less than a year, being able to receive treatment and live another 15-20 years, provided that he will leave the experimental work, he chooses to end the experiment with his life. Good psychological performance which raises questions about the meaning of life and death.

Very rarely come across such answers: “I’m not going to change. I will live as lived. ” This means that the person is completely satisfied with his life, but people seldom look to the psychologist.

Try to ask yourself this question, and answering it, ask yourself: “What prevents me start doing this today?”.

We are afraid to think about death

Not everyone will dare to even admit the idea that he left to live only one year. The proposal is to introduce, albeit hypothetically, can cause extremely unpleasant feelings. We live in the era of the cult of youth and health and are afraid of any mention of death. Meanwhile, to get away from the thought of death is to cut a path to awareness and to take their own lives.

Irvin Yalom in his book “Existential therapy” wrote:

“Let us remember the old adage: ‘Si vis pacem, para bellum’. If you want to keep the peace, prepare for war. In the spirit of the time was to change it so: ‘Si vis vitam, para mortem’. If you want to make a life, get ready to die. ”

The higher life satisfaction, the less fear of death

It would be logical to assume that the happier and the more life in her pleasures, the more people will cherish this life, and the stronger the fear of death. And accordingly, the more disappointments in life, the easier it is to part with it. But this is not the case. Here is what writes on this subject Yalom:

“In fact, the opposite is true: if there is a sense realized, feeling that life is lived well, death does not seem so terrible. Nietzsche, in his typical hyperbolic style, he said: “That was perfect, everything ripe – wants to die. All immature wants to live. All that suffering, wants to live, to become a mature, full of joy and lust – lust that further, higher, brighter ‘.

Norman Brown, in his book “Life against death» ( «Life Against Death») makes a similar statement:

“Just confirmed in his birth can be affirmed in his death … The horror of death – is fear of dying with unlived lives in your body.”

Practitioners, psychotherapists know that the fear of death is greatly enhanced in the case of unrealized human potential, emptiness of life.

Count their treasures

The fish does not notice the water until you lose this water. So, alas, man. As long as we have such treasures as sight, hearing, touch, hands, feet, memory – we do not appreciate and do not notice all this self-evident for us. Facing illness, loss, or a stranger your diagnosis allows us to realize the value of what we have. This mechanism Yalom illustrates changes in the patient’s description of the event, which had a cancer that has spread to the esophagus:

Swallow became difficult; it gradually moved to soft foods, then mashed and finally to liquid. One day in the cafeteria, not being able to swallow the strained broth, she looked around the other diners and thought: “Do they understand what is happiness – the ability to swallow? Do they ever thought about it? “. Then she put this simple principle to itself and is aware that it can still do and can experience: the basic facts of life, the seasons, the beauty of its natural environment; can see, hear, touch and love.

Count their treasures! How seldom we derive benefit from this simple teaching? Usually what we do have, what we can really do, escapes from the sphere of our consciousness, pushed aside thoughts of what we lack and what we can do, is eclipsed by petty concerns, threats to the foundations of our reputation and pride.

Meditate on death, if you want to learn how to live

This question – the question of the finiteness of life, the limited allotted to us time, leads to the fact that a person starts to think about their value system and recalls the main thing.

If the person does not ask such questions, if he lives as if death does not exist, then there is a risk that he will die, and not having to think about the meaning of their lives, unable to take stock. Leaving only 2 million selfie in instagrame …
And if you have time – it would be good, that it is not too late. After all, if the twilight of his life, a person finds that he lived a life in vain, or not, as desired, or even not lived his life – he was waiting for a terrible disappointment, despair, and depression. These old men are sad picture: angry at the whole world, aggressive, unhappy, but are not able to have anything to change and correct.

Better yet, if the person from time to time brings subtotals of his life, has been reviewing the values peculiar semantic inventory, ask questions, think about life and its meaning. And death …

“Thinking about death, we are grateful, able to appreciate the countless givens of existence. That is what the Stoics meant when they said: “Meditate on death, if you want to learn how to live.” The imperative, therefore, is not morbid preoccupation with thoughts of death, and to simultaneously hold the focus of perception of the figure and the background, thereby being becomes conscious, and life – . Richer ” (Irvin Yalom)