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How To Know When

You Will Die

A powerful exercise to get immediate perspective on anything.


  • My mission is to help you (Re)discover what makes you great, so you can start living courageously today.
  • Reading obituaries is a hobby of mine. You can learn so much about someone and they life they lived from reading obituaries.
  • After reading an obituaries and learning about someone who died, I experience one of two things.
  • One is that I will find the person and the life that they lived absolutely fascinating life. You can tell that they were an amazing person and were well loved.
  • The other experience I have after reading obituaries is one of indifference. Or, blah. It’s not that the person did anything wrong, it’s just that from reading a few paragraphs I don’t really want to learn more.
  • The question that always comes up for me is: would I have wanted to know this person while they were live. In many ways we’re talking about someone’s legacy.
  • When I think about life in general I find it pretty straight forward. We’re born and we die.
  • There’s a whole bunch of stuff that we can do in between being born and dying. This is called living.
  • The question I have for you is: How is life going so far?
  • If your obituary is almost halfway written, how is the story that would be told?
  • If you struggle to answer this question, try this exercise to get some much needed perspective. Warning, this might be tough to do.
  • First, write down the year that you were born on a piece of paper. For example: 1980.
  • Now, write down a dash after the year like this: 1980 –
  • Now, add 80 to the year that you were born and put it after the dash like this: 1980 – 2060.
  • What you see is more than likely your life span. Your birth year and death year based on how long Americans live.
  • Sure, you may live a few years or maybe even 20 longer, or you may die sooner, but regardless, this makes things clear.
  • How does seeing what could be on your gravestone make you feel?
  • Anxious? Fearful? Do you want to go yell in the woods?
  • For some, it provides clarity. More than anything, it provides perspective.
  • It reminds me that this life is not forever but we do have today.
  • if you're willing to. To live a life worth living. A life that people will one day say, “I really wish I knew that person.”live Knowing that you're going to die allows you to actually
  • What we do with today, our time, our energy, our focus, our choices, matters more than anything else. This way we don’t have to wait until we die to have people celebrate us. Today they can say, “I know that person!”
  • The past is the past. The future hasn’t happened yet. But today is  now.
  • Make the best decisions. A decisions that you’ll thank yourself for at the end of your life.

Antonio Neves is a nationally recognized leadership speaker, award-winning journalist and author of 50 Ways To Excel In Your First Job (And In Life).

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