Jesus said, "This is eternal life — to know You the only true God" and "He who loses his so-called life will find real life." God is the author of Life. Apart from Him there is no "life" when we understand that word in its true meaning. I think it would be safe to say that in the minds of the New Testament authors, life is by definition, being connected in relationship with God.
Once we get this, then it becomes very clear why we need to find time to be alone with God, and why we need to learn how to abide in His presence. Even more — as we begin to make a space for this relationship in our thoughts and in our heart and in our everyday existence, we discover experientially that this is all true. A branch really does need the Vine in order to thrive. Without the Vine, it will whither and die. Life is being in the Vine and bearing the fruit of that connection.
I guess it only makes sense that going from death to life would be quite a paradigm shift.