As morbid as it is, unfortunately death is the only thing that is guaranteed about the human experience. It is the one thing that we will all experience at some point. The sooner we accept this inevitability the sooner we can transcend beyond the fear of the unknown. Having a fear of death will keep you from being able to fully achieve the things you desire in this world. We must not fear the things that are guaranteed but rather be aware of them; use that knowledge as a driving force to fulfill the things you most desire. Once you are fully aware of death then you can understand that there is no guarantee our time here. Many people like to think they will live a long and full life well into old age. However, for some of us our time is unfortunately cut short.
Because we have no way of knowing, it is vitally important to live every moment to its maximum potential. We must not fear any of these moments but rather take them all in. Be present and aware.
It is the one thing we all have in common but the one thing we wish to not discuss or accept. This topic makes people feel different ways and can elicit a wide range of emotions. Whether the prospect of death brings peace or anxiety, we all must face the understanding of death in this life in order to live a full life. Death can be beautiful if you think about it in the right way. Socrates one said:
“Let us reflect in another way, and we shall see that there is great reason to hope that death is good, for one of two things – either death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and migration of the soul from one world to another. Now if you suppose that there is no consciousness, but a sleep like the sleep of him who is undisturbed even by the sight of dreams, and were to tell us how many days and nights he had passed in the course of his life better and more pleasantly than this one, I think that any man, I will not say a private man, but even the great king will not find many such days or nights when compared with the others. Now if death is like this, I say that to die is a gain; for eternity is then only a single night. But if death is the journey to another place, and there, as men say, ask the dead are, what good.”
His outlook on death over the years has given me peace. His words on death have been what I believe is the closest to fully understanding what happens afterwards. Having some awareness and knowledge of the possible realities that may come has helped settle my mind and may help settle yours.
A few years back I read an article about a young man who was battling cancer. He wrote about his purpose for life and the fact that he understood his purpose by being faced with death. Here are his words:
“I am only 24 years old, yet I have actually already chosen my last tie. It’s the one that I will wear on my funeral a few months from now. It may not match my suit, but I think it’s perfect for the occasion.
The cancer diagnosis came too late to give me at least a tenuous hope for a long life, but I realized that the most important thing about death is to ensure that you leave this world a little better than it was before you existed with your contributions. The way I’ve lived my life so far, my existence or more precisely the loss of it, will not matter because I have lived without doing anything impactful.
Before, there were so many things that occupied my mind. When I learned how much time I had left, however, it became clear which things are really important. So, I am writing to you for a selfish reason. I want to give meaning to my life by sharing with you what I have realized:
– Don’t waste your time on work that you don’t enjoy. It is obvious that you cannot succeed in something that you don’t like. Patience, passion, and dedication come easily only when you love what you do.
– It’s stupid to be afraid of others’ opinions. Fear weakens and paralyzes you. If you let it, it can grow worse and worse every day until there is nothing left of you, but a shell of yourself. Listen to your inner voice and go with it. Some people may call you crazy, but some may even think you‘re a legend.
– Take control of your life Take full responsibility for the things that happen to you. Limit bad habits and try to lead a healthier life. Find a sport that makes you happy. Most of all, don’t procrastinate. Let your life be shaped by decisions you made, not by the ones you didn’t.
– Appreciate the people around you. Your friends and relatives will always be an infinite source of strength and love. That is why you shouldn’t take them for granted.
It is difficult for me to fully express my feelings about the importance of these simple realizations, but I hope that you will listen to someone who has experienced how valuable time is.
I’m not upset because I understand that the last days of my life have become meaningful. I only regret that I will not be able to see a lot of cool stuff that should happen soon like the creation of AI, or Elon Musk’s next awesome project. I also hope that the war in Syria and Ukraine will end soon.
We care so much about the health and integrity of our body that until death, we don’t notice that the body is nothing more than a box – a parcel for delivering our personality, thoughts, beliefs and intentions to this world. If there is nothing in this box that can change the world, then it doesn’t matter if it disappears. I believe that we all have potential, but it also takes a lot of courage to realize it.
You can float through a life created by circumstances, missing day after day, hour after hour. Or, you can fight for what you believe in and write the great story of your life. I hope you will make the right choice.
Leave a mark in this world. Have a meaningful life, whatever definition it has for you. Go towards it. The place we are leaving is a beautiful playground, where everything is possible. Yet, we are not here forever. Our life is a short spark in this beautiful little planet that flies with incredible speed to the endless darkness of the unknown universe. So, enjoy your time here with passion. Make it interesting. Make it count!
Fear is never good to hold onto unless you use it in the right way. You must channel all of that pain and anxiety and use it as fuel for your purpose.
“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” -Gandhi
Even though death is guaranteed, the amount of time we live beyond our death is not. I truly believe that the number of lives we touch and the ways in which we touch them will impact our future beyond our lifetimes. If you can make the tiniest impact on one person’s life it can be like a pebble dropping into a pond; you may think it’s not going to have an impact do but that little ripple will expand and could inspire and impact lives you never met.
No matter how hard it is always try to be aware of and understand death. Whether we like it or not it’s coming for all of us. How are you going to make your life meaningful and truly live beyond death?
“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” -Chuck Palaniuk