Dare You Live Life To The Fullest?
“Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day …
“The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.” Seneca
Are You Now Depressed? Read on …
Two Millennia ago, during patriotic celebrations on the return of a Roman General from a successful military campaign, the people would line the victory route and shout and cheer his name in triumph. Only a few may notice a lowly slave at his shoulder who whispered into his ear, “Remember, thou art mortal.”
What a timely reminder at the height of his glory! A reminder of mortality that all of us today would be wise to reflect upon every day of our lives. But, sadly, a reminder that most would rather ignore.
Too often, the human ego withdraws from anything that reminds it of any reality that threatens its existence. This is probably why most who will read this paper won’t have yet made a Will! You are petrified to look mortality in the eye. You must surely die but, will you truly live?
What if instead of being unwilling to face and accept this inevitable truth, you choose to embrace it? What if reflecting on the end of your life is the actual key to living it more fully? That accepting your mortality is freedom.
Michel de Montaigne wrote, “To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.” (emphasis added)
Marcus Aurelius wrote, “You could leave life right now. Let that (thought) determine what you do and say and think.” In short, continue living a life of virtue NOW, and don’t wait around for what-ifs, maybes, some-time, never!
Reflecting on your mortality is depressing only if you miss the point of these meditations. Reflection on your mortality is your tool to your becoming. A tool to effective collaborations and perspectives, sustained priority and meaning. A tool to accepting the gift of time as precious, and to not waste it on triviality, vanity and illusion.
Rather than the thought of death making life pointless, it makes it purposeful. This simple reminder brings you closer to living a life that leaves a legacy for others to enjoy and follow. It doesn’t matter who you are, or how many things you have not yet done.
You can discover such refection is evocative, even humbling. It is not surprising that one of Seneca’s biographies is titled Dying Every Day. After all, it was Seneca who urged, “You may not wake up tomorrow,” when going to bed tonight, and “You may not sleep again,” when waking up tomorrow.
“Keep death and exile before your eyes each day,” wrote Epictetus, “along with everything that seems terrible ~ by doing so, you’ll never have a base thought, nor will you have excessive desire.” (emphasis added)
Let these thoughts be the building blocks of living your life to the fullest by not wasting a single second of it.
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Complicated IS Easy! Simple IS Hard!