The 7-7-7 Exercise

October 5, 2020

Categories: Values

In this blog post, I want to share a quick exercise that can be helpful for clarifying your values and what is most important in your life.

The Exercise

Imagine that you head into your doctor for your annual checkup. You have been feeling okay, some normal aches and pains but nothing out of the ordinary. You get your blood drawn, and the doctor examines you. A few days later, you get a call from your doctor. She has some difficult news to share. Your bloodwork came back, and you have been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. You have 7 months to live.

7 Months

Imagine what it would feel like to get that news from your doctor. After you recover from the shock of it, you start to think about the next 7 months of your life. You always thought you had all the time in the world, but now the time seems so short. What would you do with the last 7 months of your life? How would you spend your time? Who would you make sure to see? Is there anything you feel like you would need to do to feel complete?

7 Days

Now imagine that the 7 months begin to pass by… Month 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. You reach the final week of your life. You now have 7 days to live. What would you do with the last 7 days of your life? How would you spend your time? Who would you make sure to see? Is there anything you feel like you would need to do to feel complete?

7 Hours

Finally, imagine that the 7 days begin to pass by… Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. You reach the final day of your life. You now have 7 hours to live. What would you do with the last 7 hours of your life? How would you spend your time? Who would you make sure to see? Is there anything you feel like you would need to do to feel complete?

Reflection

What was the exercise like for you? How did it feel to think about the fact that you will die someday? Did you notice any patterns of what you prioritized as your time became more and more limited? What was most important to you, when you realized you didn’t have much time left? What might this say about your values and what is ultimately most important to you? How are these values reflected (or not) in your day-to-day life?

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One Comment

  1. Lucie Podolová October 15, 2020 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    What a great and powerful technique! Thank you, Joshua.

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