At age 18, Patrick Mathieu was told that he wouldn't live to see 30. Rather than looking at that information as a death sentence, Patrick became empowered by his mortality and began thinking about life differently. A public speaker and author of What's Your Expiry Date?, Patrick talks to Dr. Oz about how preparing for death helps you get the most out of life.
Patrick says there are no guarantees that any of us will have a long life, so it's important to come to terms with your eventual death. "At an age where you think you're invincible [like your 20s], start thinking about it, because that's when you can start making changes," he says. To live your life fearless, focused and regret-free, you have to address the fact that one day you won't live.
While some people don't like to discuss death, Patrick believes many more want to but don't feel comfortable bringing up the subject. "You have to face it sooner or later anyway," he explains. "Do you want to face it on your terms, or cancer's? Or a car accident's? The earlier you face it, the more power you have."
One way to prepare for death involves thinking differently about how you live, Patrick says. He asks people to imagine that they've died and they're at a big check-in desk in heaven. They're welcomed and asked, "What did you do with your time on earth?" If they're not happy with what they're able to say about their lives, then it's time to make some changes. "No age is a good age to die if you're not ready for it," Patrick says. "Once you're ready to die, any age is a good age. You know if you get that call today, your affairs are in order, and there's no unfinished business."
Printed from Oprah.com on Thursday, December 5, 2013