Dear Why Team member,
Why Live Memento Mori?
To live a more meaningful life!
Finding out that you have given your life to something that has little to no meaning can be disillusioning. And certainly, at first, the pain of finding out that in the end, whatever goal we had - that we thought would bring us lasting fulfillment- turns out to have little to no meaningful value and didn’t truly make the impact we aimed for, can be excruciating. In moments of disillusionment, one is faced with the choice to ignore and deny the truth or make a course correction in their life, as hard as it may be to stand up and try again. Why try again? Simply because: you were given the time to do so.
This week’s WTW was inspired by me reviewing, in detail, my entire calendar for 2019.
An awareness arose as I noticed the repeated disciplines I have established and put into my calendar year after year for nearly 30 years. This year’s annual review and planning felt different. How many years have I behaved as an immortal? How many opportunities have I missed for gratitude?
What we put into our calendars is always just a plan, a guide, a map, of course; there is an old saying stating that the plan you make at home, hardly ever matches to the one you end up making in the marketplace- meaning, life inevitably delivers its variety of interventions created by the interaction we have with others. What I uniquely noticed when reviewing my calendar for this year, was a gift; the gift of recognizing that one day, in one of my future calendars, will be my last day.
As I looked at all the days we have given a name to: Tuesday - Wednesday, March - June and given a number to: the 1st, the 2nd, I awoke to the fact that one day, in one of my years, hopefully far into the future, will simply be my last physical day on earth.
What day of the week will it be?
In what month and what day will I die?
My birth-date is June 2nd, 1963
What will be my death-date?
Wow, I never thought of it that way; and that all the plans I will have made beyond that day of my death will be meaningless. This thought was actually pretty cool to think about.
Being reminded that my days are numbered is fueling me to be all the more grateful for each day that I have been and will be given. It caused me to consider what is most meaningful, what will live on beyond my physical body?
In medieval times it was common for people to live Memento Mori - meaning, “remember, you must die.”
In the ancient text, we are invited to count our days. I think the reason why, is to remember that our days are truly numbered. And maybe to fuel gratitude for each day we get to live.
In reviewing all my plans for 2019, I am confident that if I live more Memento Mori this year than in the past, my remaining days will be filled with more meaning - knowing that when it comes to my days on Earth, one day will be my last.
Death is, after all, what makes life so precious.
Henry James Once wrote, “Live all you can, it’s a mistake not to. it doesn’t so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you had your life; if you haven’t had that, what have you had? What one loses, one loses, make no mistake about it. The right time is: anytime that one is still so lucky to have. LIVE!”
For 2019 to be your best year ever, remind yourself more than ever, that each and every day we awake - that waking up itself is first and foremost our greatest gift of all - all other gifts being meaningless if we don’t awake.
When you go to bed at night, consider what would truly matter if you didn’t wake up, and put your focus more than ever on those things when you awake the next morning.
Every Christmas season I endeavor to watch Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol.” Oh, to live like Scrooge lived the morning he awoke with a second chance, to have seen clearly the lack of meaning in so much of his sleep-walking and to awaken to what matters most. Having clearly seen the path he was on, and to be given another chance is a gift available to each one of us every morning we awake.
Live Memento Mori to enjoy morning awakenings, every morning!
Even Steven Covey reminds us in his Seven Habits of Highly Successful people: “Habit #2 Keep The End In Mind”. What will they say at your funeral?
Live more Memento Mori to further fuel your best year ever - knowing that being alive NOW is your greatest gift ever; Don’t waste it!
Make it a great week!