Lying to Myself

Come Alive by Jonathan Mead

Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive.

Bonus: How can your goals improve the present

and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral?

(Author: Jonathan Mead)

Honestly, this prompt confused me a bit. Something about the wording. Plus, if I only had one week to live I’d quit doing a TON of things that I cannot practically quit now, like my job or doing laundry. Seriously. No one wants me to quit taking out the trash because it doesn’t “make me come alive”.

I guess that’s my biggest problem with this prompt. It’s selfish. Not that we should do things that make us miserable all the time. No. I’m a huge believer in making changes in your life so you can pursue your dreams. But really, tons of life is things that just aren’t fun but need to be done. It’s called being an adult.

I did take away something from this. I read an article a few weeks ago (I wish I could remember where) on making to-stop lists. It was in the context of work and I thought it was a good idea but then forgot about it because I didn’t act on it. So I took a minute today and made myself a very short to-stop list to hang on my door. A few things I need to cut out of my life.


  1. Hitting the snooze button more than once in the morning. If you don’t like when you are getting up then change the time. Stop lying to yourself and pretending that you are getting up earlier than you really are.
  2. Watching your Netflix que before you have worked on your novel. Writing is more important than Firefly or Live Free or Die Harder. And no, you won’t get to it later. You will be tired and go to bed instead.
  3. “Window Shopping” with your wallet in your pocket. Leave it in the car. If you are actually shopping then call it shopping and stop pretending it’s something else.

See the theme? I lie to myself all the time. I tell myself things that I know aren’t true but half believing them makes me feel better. But I can’t grow, can’t change, if I’m always feeding myself easy little lies so that I don’t have to confront the truth about myself or my behavior. These areas need to change.

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