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Deathbed DMT Wisdom

Mustafa Sultan
Mustafa Sultan
Look, I know how cringe-inducing it is to hear 20-something-year-olds talk about happiness. But here goes…

There’s this really famous book everyone’s heard of (directly or indirectly)—
Working in palliative care, Bronnie Ware spoke to people who were dying; asking about their regrets. #2 on this list is:
“I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”
This is then roughly translated into the conventional wisdom of: “You’ll regret working too hard on your death bed”.
It’s then packaged with other pop psychology: the hedonic treadmill, loss aversion and examples of miserable lottery winners, which leads to—
“Working too hard will never make you happy. You’ll always want the next thing, and never really be satisfied”.
I feel like this idea has become Gospel and I just completely disagree with it.
(Ironically, Bronnie Ware probably worked incredibly hard to write and market an international best seller).
Deathbed DMT Wisdom
Is asking people about their regrets in their dying moments an accurate representation of their whole life?
I think the thinking is that in your dying moments you’ll become a sage-super-saiyan. Maybe your brain will even release DMT — and in that moment, you will have complete clarity.
I’d say possibly not. It’s an emotional time. Maybe you lose perspective rather than gain it?
Interviewing People Not On Their Deathbeds
I occasionally ask people I really admire if they regretted working so hard — and if it was all worth it — both on and off podcast.
The answers are generally:
1/3rd: It was all worth it.
1/3rd: I don’t think I worked particularly hard. (Work felt like play to them).
1/3rd: Admittedly, some do wish they had prioritised their family more.
My Theory
I think ‘happiness’ is used interchangeably with ‘life satisfaction’, but these two are pretty different — with life satisfaction being much more important.
I agree that lots of goals won’t (necessarily) lead to happiness. I doubt, that right now, an average Olympic medalist/vaccine inventor/astronaut is happier than the average person.
I do think, however, that they’ll have a baseline level of ‘life satisfaction’ that’s much higher than the average person.
And I do think this feeling is seriously worth pursuing.
#056 First Principles — Melissa Morris (CEO Lantum)
Warmest wishes,
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Mustafa Sultan
Mustafa Sultan @mustafasultan

Thoughts on healthcare, human optimisation and productivity. A little taste of what I'm thinking and reading about.

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