In case you are too busy to do the activity: What matters at the end of our lives, is how we lived the end of that life rather than how long it could be extended. We need to ask: What does a good day look like? rather than Do we fight or do we give up? Dr. Atul Gawande talks about his book ‘Being Mortal’ on On Being. (this link takes you to the transcript and download link)
Today, we listen to the podcast and take time to reflect on how we live with the knowledge that we are all mortal. A key quote for us: “Well-being was really about getting to what made those people happy, and when they lost that happiness is when they no longer were having some control over their own story, that they were not getting to be the shapers of their own story. […] You can gradually lose some functions and have some health issues along the way, and yet have great satisfactions in life.” How? If you learn to ask: What does a good day look like? Even when you are at the end of a life.
If you want to dive into his work further, the TED talk ‘How do we heal medicine?‘ might be worth watching to reflect on the ways in which: “Our medical systems are broken. Doctors are capable of extraordinary (and expensive) treatments, but they are losing their core focus: actually treating people. Doctor and writer Atul Gawande suggests we take a step back and look at new ways to do medicine – with fewer cowboys and more pit crews.” Sometimes stillness can help wellbeing in unexpected places.