Motivated by Death
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.
Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.– Steve Jobs
Live like you are dying in…
Make a list of positive/ethical things that you would do if you are dying in 1 hr, 2hrs, 10hrs, a day, a week, a fortnight, a month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and a year. After you finish the list, it could very well represent your “bucket list”. For the shorter periods ones, you may want to do it more often, since that would have been what is the most important to you.
If you only had 1 year to live, how would you live it? Try to live that way as anything shorter may derail you into having quick pleasures or the last min goodbyes. Our aim here is to use death as a motivation to push us through things that are important – things that we will regret not doing, at our death bed.
In short, Die before you die, death to your ego which is usually hindering you or blinding you, before your physical death. The death of your ego will strip away everything that is not important, and like a baby, you will learn to experience everything again, without thinking what other people will think of you.
Movies like PS I love you, Safe Haven, etc in which the loving spouse prepares to help his/her loved ones to move on with their life after he/she died is both touching and inspiring. What would you have wished to do for your loved ones that you haven’t done so? Or should you leave them one day, did you help them prepare for it? Note: I am not talking about insurance. I am talking about Birthday greetings, advices for tough times in life or events in life. Your greatest wisdom.
The last moment
While having your last breathe may feels eternal, what do you think could have been your last thoughts?
If you are happy and content, most likely you would think of the happiest moment in your life, your loved ones. But if you feel lacking, most likely regrets and what could have been, would filled your mind. The common thought would have been… If only I had more time…
In Stephen Covey’s book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the second habit is to Begin with the End in Mind – Works towards what you want people to think or say about you after you passed away. Live everyday like it could be your last, for time is both precious and limited.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”– Stephen Covey
Living to the End
“You can’t really choose how you die, but you definitely can choose how you live.”