My friend picked me up in front of my apartment building and we immediately drove off, away from the hustle and chaos of the big city. Avoiding the highway, we took quiet country roads instead, moving at a slow speed through a hilly landscape followed by what appeared to be a large forest of sequoia trees.

After a long time had passed, we eventually found ourselves at a junction, where we had to choose which way to turn. I soon noticed a semi-hidden sign on the other side of the road that consisted of nothing more than a hand-drawn black arrow pointing to the right. And so off we went in that direction.

Within a few minutes, we approached a small picturesque village, the kind which you expect to find in the south of France or in the hills of Tuscany. Our small car bounced along a narrow cobblestone street as we passed men in 1950s-style gray suits, each of them holding a pocket watch in their right hand, as well as women wearing floral dresses typically associated with Eastern European grandmothers. Everybody looked at us as we passed. Nobody waved, but most people gave us a slight smile.

My friend stopped the car in front of a simple brick cafe perched under a dark green awning. We shook hands and said farewell before he drove away. I entered the cafe, walking past a young couple sipping coffee who didn’t seem to notice me, and continued until I walked straight into the kitchen at the back.

Inside, I found an old woman sweeping the floor who looked up and nodded at me in silence before returning to her duties. And even though she appeared somewhat disheveled and unclean, it was clear that this was her cafe and had been for many years.

I moved over to the other side of the kitchen and leaned up against a brick wall where I proceeded to simply observe the old woman, watching her sweep by the light of two candles on the counter.

But suddenly, I realized that I was breathing abnormally deep breaths and that I was starting to feel quite dizzy. I also noticed an intense electric sensation start to spread all over my skin and my legs began to shake.

With each passing second, I seemed to lose more and more control and soon felt as if the form of my body was evaporating into nothing more than an undefined cloud of electricity. And then, as if I had no other choice, I took two steps forward.

I instantly fell down, just as I had expected to do. On my way to the floor, the back of my head banged hard against a cabinet door, yet I felt no pain as I lay there face down on the ground. I touched the back of my head and instead of finding blood or even a bump, I found an intense spray of energy beaming out from an open wound. Instantly, I knew what was about to happen.

Somehow I managed to stand up and stumble over to the far corner of the kitchen, where I laid down on a small bed. I turned my head slightly to one side and noticed that the old woman was sweeping the floor again, while whistling a strangely upbeat tune that seemed completely unfamiliar to me.

And then, with eyes fixed on the movements of the broom, I concentrated on my fading existence. I seemed aware that there was not much electricity left to escape from my body and I began to hear a loud humming sound emanating from my skin, as if I was standing next to live electrical wires in the street.

The light around me began to turn into complete darkness, quickly, much more quickly than I ever imagined it would. Yet within these two final seconds, I recall saying to myself, “this is it” and exchanging a hint of a smile with the old lady. The last I remember, she was leaning against the wall herself, watching me with a calm face, with the broom laying by her feet.

And then I heard a booming “ZAP”! The plug on my life was yanked out. My ears popped painfully and I could no longer hear, my eyes rolled back into their sockets and my body seemed to disappear with one final exhalation of breath. It was a sudden blackout, accompanied by a tiny, lingering moment of awareness that all was now over.

I then woke up.

But this dream was so intense that I still couldn’t move as I laid there in my bed. Every part of my body continued to vibrate and I could still clearly hear the humming sound of electricity all around me. I felt a heavy pressure inside my head, the hair on my arms and legs stood up straight and I could barely feel my legs.

It was as if someone had pressed the ‘reset’ button on my life. Shutting me down for a few seconds and then re-booting me up once again.

All I know is that it was the most powerful experience I’ve ever had. And while the dream occurred last week, when I think about it even now, all of those sensations come rushing back again just as strongly as they had been when I had woken up that morning.

At first, I was alarmed to think that this dream was a warning that I have somehow gone astray and that my life is heading in the wrong direction. I’ll admit, it was a sobering thought. But I soon remembered that I was actually at peace with myself seconds before the plug was pulled and that not a single regret passed in front of me. This seemed to indicate that I am perhaps on the right track after all.

And so, what was this dream? I am now inclined to believe that it was just a reminder, a friendly, yet blunt, reminder about the fragility of life and the need to transform every minute into a fulfilling and exhilarating slice of our existence. It was a powerful message intended not only for myself, but for as many people as I can share it with.

So I kindly ask you to not wait for your own similar dream to come around to snap you out of monotony or to convince you that your wild or long-forgotten goals are finally worth trying to achieve. If you wait for your own dream, it might be too late.

Please use my dream as motivation instead, and take a moment to consider whether or not your current life excites you as much as it should. And it absolutely, undeniably, no ifs, ands or buts, should excite you!

What about you? Have you ever had such an intense dream that really shook you up?