The Clarity of a Heart Attack, Without the Heart Attack

You’ve heard it too, life-changing reflections from a person who had a near-death experience. Everything gets clearer when faced with death. Too many people wait until it’s too late to make the changes they know need to be made. Don’t be one of them.

The stories go like this: A person working too much and consumed with life has a heart attack or a serious car accident or cancer – something sudden and life threatening. This person is torn from his or her normal patterns of life and thrown into a period of immobility, on a hospital bed or on the sofa at home, for a few weeks or months.

What do they do while recovering?

They reflect – on life, on family, on achievements, and most significantly, on regrets and unfulfilled dreams.

Many come away changed. They make life-correcting decisions on how they spend their time, who they invest in, what is important in their lives. The changes look like these:

  • Fall in love with my wife again.
  • Become my teenager’s friend, as well as her mother.
  • Do a job that I’m passionate about.
  • Have more fun.
  • Develop my spiritual being.
  • Be there for my kids.
  • Invest in others.

In a strange way, I envy these people. I envy their clarity and their ability to dramatically change the trajectory of their lives.

Change While You’re Healthy

We don’t have to wait for a heart attack to make changes! You can reflect and make changes to your life right now.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do you evaluate your life up to this point?
    • What are you pleased with?
    • What do you regret?
    • What dreams are yet unfulfilled?
  • What areas of your life need “a dramatic change in trajectory”?
  • How do you want to invest your time differently?

Actually making big life changes isn’t easy. But it is possible. I wrote about this in my article, How to Rewire Your Brain for ChangeMeeting regularly with a couple of friends or coach can help the process too.

What are you waiting for to make your life changes – a heart attack?

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    Keith is President of Creative Results Management. He helps busy leaders multiply their impact. Keith is the author of several books including The COACH Model for Christian Leaders.

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