You don’t. It’s an awful idea to follow literally. You would be enjoying grilled panda looking over a blue ocean in the south pacific. Or sitting around with good friends and looking at old photo albums, crying in your drink and drinking up your tears. You might even tell your boss to take this job and shove it. All bad choices, but it doesn’t mean the idea is a bad one. If not one day, then how long? How long might you mentally arrange you have left to live that would make a meaningful change in your life?
A day seems too short, a month also too short – my credit card rotates monthly, I could do a lot of damage there – but thirty years seems too long. What if you had five years? What if you just imagine it?
It seems like five years is the right amount of time, you have to continue living as a responsible person but it provides a limit, a do not pass line. That line is important.
I remember being at school dances– junior high or high school, I don’t remember – and always waiting until the last slow song to ask a girl to dance. It was the final chance, the if something doesn’t happen here, it’s not going to happen at all moment.
Why I need this I don't know. Why is it that only at the last moments do we do good things, live life more fully, taste the world we live in? We wait to tell people we love them. We wait to share good things with others. We wait - through doing other things - to take care of the most important people in our lives. We wait because we assume there will be more time.
At one of our school dances I waited and I lost. I forget the name of the girl I was about to ask but I waited until a certain time of the night, prepared for the last slow song and then got sunk by a DJ who played two consecutive pop songs. Not for slow dancing, not for me to ask a girl to slow dance. I waited and got bit. Luckily it was just a dance. Just a moment of little consequence - hence I don't remember the name. Something small. But life has big things too. Big things we wait for.
What happens if we switch our perspective to five years? I don't know. It seems like a better idea but maybe instead of thinking in terms of how long to live think of how much to do. The time left dancing wasn't important, it was dancing with a girl. Maybe that's what you should do today. What if you had five years left to live, who would you dance with, where, and what would be the song?