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6 Ways to Live as If You Have 6 Months Left to Live

Jennifer Pastiloff
Updated on September 16, 2020
Jennifer Pastiloff
By Jennifer Pastiloff
mbg Contributor
Jen Pastiloff is known for her unique style of teaching, which she has taught to thousands of women in sold-out workshops all over the world. She has been featured on Good Morning America, New York Magazine, Health Magazine, CBS News and more.
September 16, 2020

A couple weeks ago I was listening to my teacher, Wayne Dyer, in the car as usual. I was stuck in traffic, headed to Equinox to teach some yoga.

Then he said something I didn't expect: He said we should live our lives as if we have six months left to live. I immediately felt better in my gridlock. Hey traffic, you don't bother me anymore; screw you!

I am not trying to be Debbie Downer here or Mrs. Morbid. It's not a death sentence I am suggesting. It's your life sentence, your dharma. Wake up!

Dr. Dyer said that six months is a good time frame to work with, because at the end of life many have said that the whole thing feels like it was six months…or the blink of an eye. How would you live? What would you do? Who would you be?

Here are some suggestions for living your life as if you only had six months left:

  1. Stop caring so much what other people think. You know what Eleanor Roosevelt says: “You wouldn't worry what others think about you when you realize how seldom they actually do.”
  2. Be fearless.
  3. Finish the book you're writing, or the project, or the whatever it is. At least start it! Start it! Go. Now!
  4. Tell everyone you love how much you love them. Every day. A hundred times a day maybe. Kiss more.
  5. Never feel guilt again.
  6. Stop beating yourself up. There's no time for it. The clock is ticking.

Say this out loud: I am taking this bull by the horns. Game on! This is not a suggestion that you live without consequence, but rather with intention, with love, and with passion. Do what makes you thrive, what inspires you, what makes you come alive!

If we had only six months left:

  • We wouldn't give a flying hoot what anyone thought anymore.
  • We would be totally self-expressed.
  • We would do what felt good and right in our bodies. We would sleep an extra hour and play hookie from work. We would be present.
  • Curse more. (If you feel like it.)
  • Don't take sh*t anymore!

This exercise can easily slip into cliche. Avoid that trap. Stop what you are doing right now. Think truthfully about the answer—or answers.

Maybe you wouldn't do a damn thing differently. If this is the case, can we please go out for a glass of wine tomorrow night? You know where to find me. I want to surround myself with people who are living this way. Alive and on purpose.

In the comment section below share who you would be, what you would do, how you would live. But, more importantly, go out and live. Enjoy every moment, and laugh more (especially at yourself).

Jennifer Pastiloff author page.
Jennifer Pastiloff

Jen is a self-described Rule-Breaker, Shame-Buster, BeautyHunter, LipReader, WayMaker, TruthTeller, and Bullshit-Eliminator. She travels the world with her unique workshop “The Manifestation Workshop: On Being Human,” a hybrid of yoga, writing, sharing out loud, and the occasional dance party. She has been featured on Good Morning America, New York Magazine, and CBS News among others. She leads annual retreats to Italy and California as well as many other places which combine writing and yoga, sharing out loud and fierce listening. When she is not traveling she is based in Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and soon, her new baby boy. When she is not pregnant you can find her sipping a nice pinot noir. She is deaf as a post and she enjoys laughing at herself, most of the time. You’re most likely to find her these days eating a brownie or on Instagram at @jenpastiloff. She is also the founder of the empowerment project for young women called Girl Power: You Are Enough. Upcoming workshops and retreats in NYC, Dallas, Seattle, Kripalu in Massachusetts, Atlanta, Portland and of course, Italy September of 2016. Email or visit