There’s a trick that’s changed my life.
It’s odd and slightly embarrassing, but it works.
Every morning, I sit down and meditate.
And around thirty minutes in I look up and imagine I’m about to die.
I tell myself, ‘Damn, my time here is done.’
And then suddenly…
Everything becomes a bonus.
The day becomes clearer.
Trivial worries go away.
Egotistical ambitions are replaced by purposeful goals.
Friends & family get messages of love.
For a while I thought I was a weirdo for practicing this bizarre ritual.
But I quickly found out I wasn’t alone.
Socrates, one of the founders of Western philosophy, told us to ‘practice dying’.
Marcus Aurelius, the eminent Roman Emperor, wrote ‘Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what’s left and live it properly.”
Ernest Becker, Pulitzer Prize winning author, reminded us, “In order to be who we really are, without sham, without disguise, without defenses against fear, we must acknowledge and penetrate the fear of death.”
But nowadays, death is such a touchy subject.
It petrifies us.
It’s saved for hushed voices and hospital rooms.
But ignoring it is the most dangerous thing we can do.
Because, thought about in the right way, death ignites urgency.
It gives you the courage to fight fear and make way for truth.
It stops you from postponing that project or asking that girl out.
It throws away the bullshit and the procrastination.
And 99% is bullshit and procrastination.
As Steve Jobs said “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.”
Now, go on, die.
And now, come back to life…
Welcome to your bonus round. Enjoy it.