Death makes people value the future

“Death is a stark reminder that the future is not guaranteed, so it is reasonable to believe that thoughts of personal mortality make one even more inclined to value today over the future,” Nicholas J. Kelley and Brandon J. Schmeichel wrote in their study.

“On the other hand, people make plans and strive for goals (including more life) that can only be met in the future. These future goals help give meaning to the present and can provide psychological protection against the threat of death. In this sense it seems reasonable to believe that reminders of personal mortality make the future seem even more valuable — a precious commodity in short supply.”