Live every day as if it’s the last day of your life?

If I did that, I would never go to work.  Never.  Neither would my partner.  I wouldn’t save any money for retirement.  I wouldn’t exercise.

I don’t like those mental exercises where they ask you to change your current behavior based on some doomsday scenario.  They seem to assume that what we would want to do in a short period of time is the same as what we would want to do over a long period of time. That is, they don’t get diminishing marginal utility (or present value).

If I had a short period of time left obviously I would want to spend my time with my family and not working (not to mention eating decadent and expensive food). But long-term only being with my family would start to grate on me and I’d yearn for something outside of that, or I’d get fat or start disliking the special food and I’d have no money for retirement.

Which leaves me where I go to work and do projects that will gratify me in the long-term, even if they sometimes annoy me in the short term, and to eat healthy foods on a moderate budget. Yes yes, I know they’re supposed to get us to think about what really makes us happy and they assume we aren’t already maximizing our utility with our revealed preferences… but I think such exercises also lead to bad feelings and sub-optimization.

Or as Lucy says around minute 3:40 :