Imagine you have only 1 year left – Life is to short for later

This book has rattled my mind. At the very beginning, Alexandra Reinwarth gets to the point and decides that the anniversary of her death is February 15. Not really, but as a thought experiment. Using situations from her own life, she describes how her life has turned 180 degrees. The shaking awake begins with the deadline.

The Deadline

“What would you do if you only had a year to live?”
Das Leben ist zu kurz für später, Alexandra Reinwarth

In response to this question, I briefly put the book aside and tried to answer this question for myself. But the first thing that came to my mind was to travel the world. When I read the question again, I realized that the important word in this question is the little word “do”. Why don’t we do so many things that we actually want to do?

Some answers and thought-provoking impulses can be found in this book. The author clears up several topics and makes it clear that we would usually decide differently than we do now if we only had one year left to live. One of them is false pride.

False Pride

We are all familiar with good pride. When we have achieved something, we are proud of ourselves. However, there is also the wrong pride. Someone who, for example, prevents us from apologizing after a quarrel with our best friend. In the worst case, this false pride can lead to a break-up of friendship. Thinking back to the deadline, this pride immediately becomes ridiculous. For what matters in the end? What the heart wants, and that is forgiven.


Before you die, the author suggests that you should finish things well. This means above all forgiveness. Surely each of us still has the one or other anger that he carries around with him. Resentment comes from a persistent anger towards others as well as towards oneself, which is not reduced. Forgiveness is one way to reduce resentment. I already discovered the incredible power of forgiveness after reading the book Ho’oponopono and can only recommend it to everyone. If you start the action plan for this book, you will also do a great exercise.

“The weak cannot forgive. Forgive is a trait of the strong.”


Mostly, we find it difficult to address things simply because we want to be liked and are afraid of being rejected. Two statements are made which we therefore too often shy away from, but which would do us good in certain situations. “I don’t care” and “I don’t feel like it”.

If I had only one year left to live, these two sentences would surely fall more often, because my time would simply be too precious to me. I would turn my back on the endless pseudo-talks and blasphemies with “don’t interest me”. The boring meetings with people who rob you of energy, I would thankfully reject with “I have no desire”.

With your deadline in mind, how often would you do things you don’t really want to do or do for fear of rejection?

Having the courage to talk about things is still a topic for me personally where I want to develop further. The exercises that I do and that have already helped me a lot can be found in the Action Plan.

Intermediate Conclusion

Well, I’m starting to like this thought experiment. At the beginning of the book I was frankly still a little irritated. Nevertheless, the author manages to convey this irritating thought experiment through her relaxed and humorous narrative style in such a way that one is pleasantly shaken awake and would like to continue reading what the author has experienced.


“Fear is a fucking guide”
Das Leben ist zu kurz für später, Alexandra Reinwarth

the author says. Considering that you only have one year left to live, you realize how often you would make decisions differently. Particularly when it comes to fear. This is where I learned: “Fear is a fucking guide”. Why don’t you approach change even though you know at the bottom of your heart that it’s the right decision? Precisely out of fear! Fear of failure, fear of pain, fear of embarrassment, etc.

When I am afraid, I realize what fear actually means. Here a small example with the English term for fear helps me: FEAR

Using the initial letters, one can form “False Evidence Appear Real”, which means as much as: False facts are perceived as real. We think about all sorts of things and already spin the craziest situations into our heads, even though none of them have actually occurred yet.

Fear can be a very important feeling and very helpful in the corresponding situations. Most of the time, however, we are unnecessarily scared by our way of thinking. This is also the case when it comes to jobs.


The “aha” moment for the author came when her husband started to fulfill his wish of own restaurant. She realized how much more energy he suddenly had and began to radiate.

Are you happy in your job? Most people reply to this question with “no, it’s ok, it could be better.” Only very few answer with a clear yes. Considering the fact that we “work” almost all our lives, it makes sense to invest some energy and above all courage.Average Working Period

Being unhappy and demotivated at the moment because your work annoys you is not necessarily due to your job not fulfilling you. It could also be because of your current mindset towards your work. The book Fish! showed me that. Using a real company as an example, it shows that only the right attitude to work can change an entire department from bad-tempered employees to good-tempered and motivated employees who have found pleasure in their work again.


“It’s not enough to decide against something you don’t want. You have to choose something your heart wants.”
Das Leben ist zu kurz für später, Alexandra Reinwarth

It is exactly due to the fact that we think we still have enough time, that we are often not aware of how much time we spend with unimportant things. Once we become aware of it, it is amazing how quickly we lose sight of it and end up in everyday life again. Perceiving that we only have a short time left to live is an interesting thought experiment. It sharpens the focus on the essential and what is really important.

What would you do if you knew you only had one year to live?

Do it now. Because life is too short for later!

Start the Action Plan!

Don’t just read the book apply the knowledge and grow!

That’s what you get:

  • You will learn a method for making decisions from a whole new perspective.
  • You heighten your focus on the really important things in life
  • You'll be awakened in a positive way.
  • You are encouraged to think about your current situation
I'm Daniel and I love to help people apply the knowledge of all those great books out there.

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