I took a few minutes to look into my heart

Not in the usual spiritual or emotional sense, like when a concerned friend or the author of a self-help book says “look into your heart.” I mean literally into my heart while it was still beating via an echocardiogram.

Watching my heart beat on screen while feeling it beat in my chest felt like I was peering right into the core of my physical self, live on screen.

An echocardiogram is like a pregnancy ultrasound for men

I mean: we get to see something on screen (the movement of our heart’s valves and chambers) while we feel it moving in our chest.

On the other hand, the heart beating is both at the core of life and at the core of your physical being.

And I could see the chambers in my own core, expanding and contracting, valves opening and closing like delicate flowers. If it stopped, I would stop.

Me having my second echocardiogram

I had a near-death experience

On 23 April 2017 I had quite a near-death experience; a piano didn’t fall on my head but it came close enough that I could feel the wind of its passing.

These three tiny pills, twice a day, are the distance between me and the falling piano
  • Good friends have had to deal with heart problems and cancer diagnoses that are far more serious than mine. When I talked to them, and when I thought about what they were going through, why didn’t I really believe something like that could happen to me? Is it a good idea to keep living as if I’m invulnerable?
  • How much of what I’ve been doing has been because I feel obligated to keep doing it? If I had only five more years to live, what would I want to drop and what would I want to focus on?

I’m Alan Jones, coach for accelerators, partner at M8 Ventures, angel investor. Earlier: founder, early Yahoo product manager, tech reporter.