At the start of August, I told you I was going to be pausing the world of the Mortality Mindset for a month, while I re-evaluated a number of things. Here we are two and a half months later - I finally have an update for you
Since 2003, I've seen it as 'my life's mission' to share my perspective on Mortality in an attempt to help others.
It made sense to me on so many levels.
First, it helped make sense of the question that was ever-present in my life: 'why was I born with these heart defects?' (Answer: to share your story and help other people.)
Second, it allowed me to use my skills and talents as a speaker, communicator, people-person AND my skills with technology, doing my own websites, podcast, videos etc.
And third, mortality is something everyone will need to face eventually. If I could help take away the fear and help instill a sense of power, or at least agency, around mortality then it was my duty to do what I could.
I have a confession: Shortly after the Covid-19 pandemic first hit, I began to see it as a real opportunity for the Mortality Mindset. (Just to be 100% clear - I wasn't cheering on the virus in any way!) I imagined that the serious and incredibly uncertain nature of the virus and it's impact would help open people up to thinking about their mortality in a much more earnest way. I imagined it was going to be much harder for everyone to ignore the reality of mortality. I imagined that this was going to be the shining moment for the Mortality Mindset!
I was hopeful that my perspective and my experiences would prove useful and comforting to people who felt hopeless and helpless in the face of this troubling uncertainty. Since I couldn't hold in-person workshops, I began creating online courses. I experimented with live online workshops and then pivoted to pre-recorded, self-directed video courses. I created a number of them and mentioned them here (in my email newsletter) as well as through various social media platforms. I really wanted to be of service to people during these stressful and precarious times.
The response was... minimal.
My first reaction was to tweak my approach. "It's hard for people to attend live online courses right now because everyone's working from home and their kids are at home too", I told myself. So I created self-directed video courses.
My next reaction was to blame it on the fact that people were just plain Zoomed-out! Between online schooling and endless Zoom meetings for work and social get togethers, no one wanted to spend even more time staring at their screen while they did one of my courses.
Then I began to question whether my instincts were wrong about the pandemic opening people up for a closer look at their mortality. It was entirely possible that it was sending people running in the opposite direction!
And finally... I began to question myself.
Why am I still talking about the Mortality Mindset after all these years?
Is it worthwhile? Does it make a difference to anyone?
Is this still my mission?
Is it time to let it go and move on?
All of that is what I've spent the last two and a half months thinking about.
As you can imagine, it's been a somewhat dark and challenging time. Many sleepless nights of endless self-reflection. (Yes, I'm an Olympic level over-thinker!)
For a while, I really considered giving it all up.
Mortality is such a charged and unpleasant topic, no one wants to hear about it.
My life would be so much easier if I used my skills and talents with a different, more in-demand subject, right?
But whenever I considered that, my integrity wouldn't let me take the easy way out. This is my mission and this is what I'm here to do - I shine a light into the frightening cave into which we all eventually go. And in doing so, I hope to help people live like it matters.
Plus, this is still my own personal reality. I still have the barcode of my 'expiry date' on my shoulder and I still go to bed each night knowing that day may have been my last.
It really helped that during this period of introspection, I heard from a number of you, my email newsletter subscribers, telling me how much the weekly messages mean to them. I also reflected back on all the amazing conversations I've had with people over the years and the countless times I've been blown away by stories of how people have put the Mortality Mindset into action in their own lives and the changes that happened as a result.
Yes, the Mortality Mindset is a huge part of who I am and I do my best to use it to help me live like it matters.
Yes, connecting deeply with people (through speaking, writing, podcasting and coaching) is also a huge part of who I am. It's what lights me up.
However, it's finally clear to me that having a Mortality Mindset isn't what we want - it's simply a path to help us get what we want.
I think what we want is to feel like we're living with passion and purpose.
I'm going to be shifting my message to focus less on mortality and more on passion and purpose.
I'd love to hear your thoughts / feedback.