A majority of us avoid thinking about our mortality; instead, we prefer getting sucked into the vortex of the daily grind.
And so, rather than focusing our precious time on things that matter and have weight, we end up spending it on frivolous stuff that we don’t even enjoy. Here are some examples: doom scrolling our phones, binge-watching shows and movies for hours on end, taking dead-end jobs and spending hours commuting so that we can “pay our bills,” checking our email inbox multiple times throughout the day, picking up fights with our family members over trivial issues, arguing with strangers online, and using social media to our own peril. These things must be stopped!
You can focus your time and attention on constructive activities and be productive, or you can waste it on things that you getting sucked into — you know, the kind of superficial stuff that you don’t even truly like. You can’t do both!
It’s a day-to-day battle that even the best of us go through. Marcus Aurelius too once wrote to himself in frustration, “You’re afraid of death because you won’t be able to do this anymore?” He knew he wasn’t making his time worth it.
This is why contemplating our mortality can be such an incredibly powerful exercise. When we keep the notion of ‘Memento Mori’ in our perspective every day, we gain clarity and make good use of our limited time, paying attention to things and people that truly matter. In essence, we prioritize better. Over time, we create meaningful lives and make significant contributions to others, both personally and professionally.
If we had unlimited time, doing the stuff previously mentioned wouldn’t weigh heavy on us and we wouldn’t mind engaging in them. However, the truth of the matter is that each of us has our own hourglass with sands of time slipping by. We never truly know how many days, months, years we have left? It’s hard to swallow, but it’s the truth. So, why not cut out the “this” that Marcus Aurelius referred to from your life starting today?
No more delay. No more procrastination. The clock is ticking, so get sincere and serious now.