Death Is At Your Doorstep. How Will You Answer It?

 Tyler Durden

This is a guest post by Kevin Cole at Perform Destiny. He’s been writing some amazing shit over there and I’m thrilled to have him as my first guest poster ever. His no bullshit attitude and brutal honesty have me hooked . . . I think he’s gonna fit right in here. Plus, he’s quoting Tyler Durden. Tyler Fucking DURDEN! You KNOW it’s gonna be good!

 

There are two things that are certain in this world.

1) Death

2) Taxes

Both are mandatory and there’s no way of getting around it.

Most people got the tax part handled. Spending time in jail is a pretty solid motivator not to fuck that one up.

But the death part? Well…most people suck shit.

I don’t mean the physical act of dying – I mean the shit that comes before that.

You know? LIVING.

The large majority of folks walk around all day acting like they’ve got a never ending life.

But they seem to have forgotten something very important.

 

You Are Always Dying

When you drive to work – you’re dying.

When you hang out with your friends – you’re dying.

When you walk the dog – you’re dying.

You were dying yesterday, you’re dying today and you will be dying tomorrow.

We all have a limited lifespan and time is running out.

The average lifespan for a person in the US is 79 years old.

So think about it.

If you’re 20 years old you have already lived 1/4 of your life.

If you’re 40 years old you have already lived 1/2 of your life.

That’s 25 – 50% of your life already lived. You can’t get that shit back.

Swallow that pill for a second and take that in.

 

Think About Death Daily

As crazy as it may sound, thinking about death on a daily basis is a fantastic way to analyze your life.

You know those near-death moments people face? When their car is swiped off the road? When their health takes a turn for the worse? When death is smiling at them?

Within minutes of the experience their life has changed. They look at their life and what they have to show for it and vow to make some major changes.

Most of them do and only a handful stick with it.

But when you think about death every single day, you can recreate those same feelings and emotions without the near-death experience.

You have the ability to carefully analyze your life like this was your last day on Earth and see what you have to show for it.

There are plenty of occasions where you can think about death in your daily life. Every time I drive my car I think about it. Every time I board a plane I think about it. Every time I eat something vastly unhealthy I think about it. There are a million and one things that could kill us every day so you have endless occasions to ponder your own life.

But before you hop into your car, board a jet plane and eat a big ass hamburger, let’s take a moment and think about death. Act as if you were about to die.

What do you have to show for all your years on this planet? What have you accomplished already? What have you been putting off?

Do your excuses seem as valid now that death is on the table? Hell fuckin’ no.

When the day comes that you do pass away, what will people say at your funeral?

What will you be remembered by?

“Your time here is limited and you’re not going to be remembered for the shit you bitched out on.”

 

You WILL Be Remembered For . . .

The risks you took.

The stories you shared.

The places you went.

The lives you changed.

The life you lived.

 

You Will NOT Be Remembered For . . .

The money in your bank account.

The number of days you showed up at your nine to five.

The TV shows you watched.

The food you ate.

All the risks you never took.

 

What Did You Want to Be?

There’s a scene within the movie Fight Club which has impacted my life in a deep way and fits perfectly within the context of this post. If you haven’t seen the film – I highly recommend you do.

Tyler Durden has taken a middle-aged Asian man to an alley behind a convenience store and holds a gun to his head. The man’s name is Raymond K. Hessel.

Tyler takes Raymond’s wallet and informs him he’s going to die. Tyler looks through his wallet and finds an expired community college I.D. card.

Tyler Durden: What did you want to be Raymond K. Hessel?!

Raymond: (sobbing) Veterinarian.

Tyler Durden: Animals! That means you have to get more schooling.

Raymond: Too much school.

Tyler Durden: Would you rather be dead? Would you rather die? Here? On your knees in the back of a convenience store?

Raymond: No! Please stop!

Tyler Durden: I’m keeping your license. I’m gonna check in on you. I know where you live. If you’re not on your way to becoming a veterinarian in six weeks, you will be dead. Now run on home.

Narrator: What the fuck was the point of that?

Tyler Durden: Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of Raymond K. Hessel’s life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal you and I have ever tasted.

You don’t have to put a gun up to your head to begin your journey. You just have to hustle your ass off and be persistent.

It doesn’t matter what you want to accomplish – lifestyle biz, six pack abs, world travel – just put one foot in front of the other and move forward because death is at your doorstep and it’s going to come knocking.

How will you answer it?

 

About the Author

View More: http://lisaottophotography.pass.us/clients

Kevin Cole (@performdestiny) is a writer and entrepreneur. He runs a down and dirty personal development blog called Perform Destiny where he gives unsexy advice on hustling, human growth and becoming badass.

(Tyler Durden photo via MyFavs10@wikispaces.com)

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Comments

  1. Chilling article, Kevin, and this was exactly the kick in the ass I needed.

  2. Hey Kevin, thanks for the awesome contribution my friend. I hope it gets people thinking about how they’ve spent their lives . . . and more importantly, how’d they’d like to spend the rest of their days.

    Glad to have you here buddy.

    Cheers!

    • Thank YOU Trevor. I’m honored to be your first guest poster. I loved writing this.

      Our own mortality is always present and I hope this reminder lights a fire under some people’s asses.

  3. Nice post, Kevin. What you say is so true! It’s really hard hold this truth in our minds – there’s some self-protective layer that keeps us safe from this knowledge. Well, it’s trying to keep us safe anyway, but really it keeps us boring.

    I work with people who have decided they want to do work they love and find or create work they feel passionate about. You probably won’t be surprised that many of them have had a brush with death – cancer, heart attacks, car accidents. . . perhaps reading your words can help people wake up to the reality of how short life really is, without the need for a dramatic wake up call.

    • Absolutely Jessica.

      No one needs to have a near-death experience. They just need to realize their time is running out whether they’re 25 or 65. Once people realize how close they truly are to death at any given moment – life seems to take on a higher level of importance.

      Last year I had my own near-death experience and it was an extremely profound time that made me realize how fragile this “life” thing is.

      • My near death experience was dating a widower. I didn’t nearly die, but I was close to his loss and pain for nearly two years before he quit on me and went back to her ashes. That was enough for me to evaluate my short life and the importance of the choices I was making. This was a great read.

        • Damn Christina, that’s a pretty sad tale. Two years of your life gone, and from the sound of it, the rest of his. But at least you’ve used that misfortune to inspire better choices with the rest of your life. I hope things are much brighter for you these days.

    • So you’ve seen this first hand Jessica? I never really think of “near death” experiences as all that common, even though I’ve had more than a few myself. But I guess when you really think about it, death is an everyday occurrence, so it would actually be pretty surprising if these things weren’t common.

      And now that I’m really thinking about it, I imagine the first thing many would change after a near death experience would be their careers. So I guess it should come as no surprise that you see this a lot. It must be pretty fascinating to see that kind of metamorphosis first hand. It must feel pretty good to be a part of that transformation.

      Cheers!

  4. Kevin, superior post, man! I read a book by Susan Jacoby a few years back called Never Say Die, a look at America’s denial about death and dying. It may offer someinsight as to why people live the way they do and tend to think about death as something that only happens to others. Top freakin’ notch to say the least.

    I agree, most people I know live as if they have millions of years to live. When I consider future plans, I often tell myself, “Dude, you’re gonna be dead someday.” That inevitably makes the plans better, brings on implementation rather quickly, or jettisons the plans altogether since it was not that important in the first place.

    • Hey CJ,

      Thanks for the kind words man. I’m definitely gonna have to check out that book!

      Thinking about death when your about make some future plans is awesome. It brings everything into perspective so quickly. Like you said, it either reinforces the plans or makes it easy to ditch them.

      Great stuff man.

    • Hey CJ, it’s interesting how that book is a look at Americas denial of death. I’m curious if it’s just us, or if it’s common in other cultures as well. I know that there are many cultures that celebrate death in a way . . . Día de Muertos for one.

      Are we the lone stick in the mud?

      • Hmm…that’s a really good point Trevor. I hadn’t really thought about that but you may be right man. Death is definitely ignored in this country but in some regions of the world it is embraced with open arms.

        I remember vividly watching the liberation in Libya and seeing people literally be shot and killed and everyone else around them growing stronger because of it. It was a seriously chilling moment.

      • Great question, Trevor. I’ll guess that there are probably multiple cultures in denial about death, But I cannot be sure without further research. But you know something is amiss when people cannot even utter the word. I mean, Americans have corned the market on euphemisms for death.

        • Good point CJ. “Pass away,” “meet your maker,” even “kick the bucket.” These all seem to be preferred versus saying someone “died.” We really do our best to keep ourselves blind to this important and unavoidable topic.

  5. Fucking great article Kevin. Sometimes you come across something that affirms the decisions you’ve made recently, and that’s what your words have done for me.

    One thing I do every week, usually after meditation, is recite a few remembrances to myself. They’re called the ‘Five Remembrances’, and they’re a classic Buddhist teaching that has been passed down for generations. Even though it’s more a teaching on how everything is always changing, your article reminded me of them:

    1. I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
    2. I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health.
    3. I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.
    4. All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.
    5. My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.

    Thanks for the kick, buddy. Great article.

    • Hey man. I love those remembrances. Especially the fifth one all about actions being your only true belongings. That’s such an eloquent way to say it.

      It’s so true too. We are all going to die at some point and we don’t have a say in the matter. But we do have the ability to choose our own actions and forge our own path.

      Great to hear this post had an impact man.

    • Dude, those remembrances are freakin’ awesome! How’s it I’ve never heard of them before? There’s so much pure truth in there it gets me giddy as a schoolgirl.

      We all grow old.

      We all get ill.

      We all die.

      We all lose ones we love.

      It sounds pretty depressing actually, but then it hits you with the last . . .

      Our actions are the ground upon which we stand.

      Fucking beautiful. It reminds us that we can only control ourselves — we need to let go of that which we cannot change.

      Thanks for the spot of enlightenment Chris. It just made my evening.

      Cheers!

  6. Hi Kevin,

    Wonderful post indeed, and welcome to Trevor’s blog!

    I loved the core message of your post about contemplating on death and doing so often. Considering just how short this life is and how we can be dead anytime is a powerful way to drive one into action.

    I’ve experimented with this concept a little myself. Your post has inspired me to do so again, starting now.

    Thank you.

    • Hey Hiten,

      Great to hear your getting back into this concept.

      It was definitely a game-changer for me and for plenty other folks.

      Our own mortality is always on the table and as soon as we acknowledge it – priories are put where they belong.

      Thanks for the kind words man.

    • Maybe we should all contemplate death a little more often. Like really fucking think about it. As CJ pointed out, Americans tend to turn a blind eye to the realities of death. That doesn’t make for a healthy mindset when the inevitable arrives.

      I know a lot of readers here aren’t from America, but I’m imagining that western civilization as a whole probably suffers this self-inflicted ignorance to one degree or another. It seems to me that this MUST create an unnatural attitude towards one of the most natural things there is . . .

      Death.

      Maybe we’ve all just been too sheltered and coddled.

  7. Thinking about death daily is something I’ve been doing since my dad died 7 months ago. On the surface it might seem like a depressing thing to do, especially to other people who don’t think about it or care to think about it, but it’s a healthy reality check. You said it right – we are always dying. And we have no clue when. Really let that sink in and it’ll change the way you make decisions in a good way.

    • The death of a loved one will definitely put things in perspective. And the way you are viewing the passing of your father is perfect. Even though it is an unfortunate event, you’re using it as a constant reminder that you are alive and death is always looming.

      Perfect view. Perfect mindset.

      Awesome stuff Denise.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your father Denise. But I don’t think it’s depressing to think about death. Ponder it. Even discuss it. To the contrary, I think it’s a healthy thing.

      Death is inescapable.

      But it shouldn’t haunt us at every turn. It should remind us that WE are still alive. That WE have time. Time to make something worthwhile of our lives. So long as we use it well.

  8. Awesome article Kevin,

    This was a massive wake up call for me!

  9. Hi Kevin, it is great to see you here. What a profound article, and I do think of death every day. It is rather uplifting as it helps me get my butt in gear. It gets me on my five-mile walk every morning. It helps me never to put Doritos in my grocery cart, eat ice cream, cakes or pies. Yeah, I live a tortured life! 😉

    What I know from living through a serious car accident when I was 17 is that even 5 1/2 weeks in the hospital and learning to walk again is sometimes not enough. I was young, but I still didn’t reflect and take action daily, and that is what living requires! Now, I’m living, and it sounds like you are too!

    • Hey Tammy,

      Doritos are so tempting! 🙂

      Being in a car accident and learning how to walk again is some serious shit. But I can see what you mean by it not having a serious impact. Everyone will react to situations differently. If someone isn’t in the right head space to change, then nothing will change them, no matter how traumatic.

      But if someone is in the proper head space for change then a traumatic event wouldn’t even be necessary. A friendly reminder of their own mortality would do just fine.

      Very interesting stuff. Excellent point Tammy.

    • “. . . I do think of death every day. It is rather uplifting . . .”

      I never thought I’d hear those words put together in that combination before Tammy. I think it’s pretty cool actually. I’m all about using whatever works to get our butt in gear.

      It’s pretty amazing that 5 1/2 weeks in the hospital learning to walk again wasn’t enough to make you really think about things. But then again, at 17, we usually don’t think about much. I didn’t, anyway. I think it goes back to that adaptability thing. My guess is you probably accepted the situation for what it was and did what was necessary to get better. We feel so immortal when we’re that age that you probably just moved on, whereas had the same thing happened in your 30’s it would have been one of those HUGE life changing moments.

      • Good morning, Trevor! I reread what I said because what you said made me think. (You have that ability, you know!) At 17, our world largely revolves around our friends. In terms of my relationships there, I solidified a few really great ones. I learned a lot about what makes my family tick – traumatic events can make you see the good, bad, and the ugly.

        I did learn that nurses can make such a huge difference. I was in a pretty dark place for a bit and my favorite nurse came in, whipped back the blinds, and said, “Ah, there’s some sunlight for you!” or something like that. Sometimes, we just need to be or give that sunshine – even a little bit – to make someone else’s day. Another nurse tied my call button to the bar hanging above my bed to get me to use my arms (she should have received a physical therapist’s pay rate too!). Ah, I guess I could write a whole book on that experience, but you get the picture!

        Happy Day, Trevor!

        • Why is it that the nurses always seem to be so much more helpful than the doctors? They’ve got the perfect combination of physical and emotional therapist in them. The doctors just tend to be jerks. Go figure.

          I’m glad you recovered well Tammy. When I was watching you dance to CJ’s song on Youtube, I would have never believed that you could’ve ever been so incapacitated. Thank god for youthful bodies.

          Cheers!

          • Yeah! Ha!!! That’s so true. Looking at my crazy dance moves, who would think that?! Fortunately, I had great doctors and nurses. They put my leg back together and lots of other fine things.

            Come to think of it, it took me two physical traumas to finally wake up. Glad I did! To think I would have missed out on you kicking my butt!

          • Ha! I couldn’t kick your butt if I tried. You’d dance circles around me!

            Ugh.

            That was even pretty lame for my tastes. Oh well, hittin’ reply anyway.

            Cheers Tammy!

  10. Yep … that pretty much says it Trevor. Many think that they will live forever … until it’s too late. Thanks for this man.

    Be good to yourself
    David
    Life Coach. Listener. Value adder.

  11. At first, the title and content of the post sounded a bit negative/passimistic but then as I continued reading, I realized its not about negative or positive, its about the reality of life. The way you explained was quite good and realistic. I do agree, death is not when we literally die but we are dying each day and each minute. To deal with life’s mess, one keeps on dying every now and then.

    • I can see where you’re coming from Sonal. But I think his words are striking because we just don’t typically give much thought to death. So it’s kinda like a slap in the face when someone talks so bluntly about it.

      But the message is purely positive. The thought of death can be a powerful motivator to truly live a fulfilling life. Because our time here is limited, and we’d best make the most of it.

      Cheers!

    • Hey Sonal,

      Yeah I can definitely see how at first glance this would appear pessimistic.

      But I just hate sugar coating things. I wanted to lay it all out for people so there are no secrets.

      Death is coming for us all and we don’t know when, so we might as well do everything we possibly can with the time we have.

  12. Morbid, Kevin! Morbid! But totally true.

    At times I find it’s ‘easier’ to imagine death facing you when it actually is. Being diagnosed with a terminal illness can have that affect. But I agree that the same can be achieved when triggered by an event – like your examples – boarding a plan (I do this a lot), or eating the wrong food (continually doing less of this).

    when I was a child, my mum would tell me how death is always calling your name and it will decide when to take me. So I should be a ‘good girl’, in case I didn’t have time to redeem myself. I didn’t understand this at the time.

    Until my dad died at a very young age.

    And then it became crystal freakin clear.

    • Damn Razwana, that does make things crystal clear. But it’s interesting how your mom would tell you that death is calling your name. I’m not quite sure what to think about it. On the one hand, my natural inclination is to think that’s way too heavy to tell a child, but on the other hand, it kind of ties back into cultural acceptance of death — maybe it’s just my cultural prejudice to think that children should be shielded from death.

      Actually, when I put it that way, I see that it IS cultural bias. Why should children be shielded from death? Is it going to help them develop healthy coping habits when they’re eventually faced with it? Not likely.

      This has really got me thinking . . .

      • For my mum, it’s an Islamic thing. She was taught, as a Muslim, that she should always live her life knowing that she would one day die. So she maintains her ‘best behaviour’ as a result. But it IS cultural to the East I think – they’re far more open about death there than we are in the West.

        I did think it was a rather morbid thing to tell a child. I certainly didn’t like thinking about it! Perhaps children can’t make sense of it until they’re a little older.

        I can recall this one time when I was reading a book to my niece who was 2 at the time about a bear and a mouse and they were basically strolling along living a cute little life as friends. One day, the mouse goes to visit his friend and the bear is dead. End of story. I was freaked! But my niece didn’t think anything of it – no curiosity – just acceptance.

        • That’s so interesting Razwana. It definitely sounds like death is more commonly talked about in the East. It would also be extremely interesting to see how it affects children growing up – or how much it doesn’t affect them.

          Interestingly enough, I can think back to times when I was a little kid and some of my grandparents died. To me, it wasn’t a huge deal. I wasn’t super close to any of them although I knew them all. Maybe it was just tough to understand the magnitude of the situation.

          But now…if someone died it would definitely hit hard.

          So my thinking is, talking about death with kids isn’t as bad as it may seem. They are young and still innocent to a lot of the harsh realities of the world. And even if you do expose these harsh realities, it’s pretty damn tough for a seven-year old to wrap their head around the concept of death.

          It’s only when you become older and more mature that you realize how fragile life is.

        • It’s amazing how accepting kids can be. We probably don’t give them enough credit. Their minds are so perfectly adaptable that they can probably handle most things better than adults. The big things, at least.

          It’s interesting that eastern culture seems to be more open about death than western culture. I wonder why we’re so set on sticking our head in the sand. I guess the question is, do you feel that you were able to cope with your fathers death in a healthy fashion due to your upbringing?

          When my father died, I didn’t handle it well. It was the first time I’d ever lost someone close to me and I was completely unprepared. I basically just blocked it out for years and years. I wonder how much of that was due to my nature and how much was due to death being such a taboo subject.

          • Shit gets deep ’round these parts, doesn’t it?

            My dad died after suffering from cancer for 2 years, so it was a relief (for all) when it ended. The final few weeks were unbearable. I don’t want to experience that again. Ever.

            He was the first person close to me to die too and I guess I feel I handled it well because I felt prepared – I knew it was coming.

            Was your father’s death sudden, Trevor?

            But the aftermath for me? I spent a few years having more male friends than female friends and deciding a relationship was the answer to all of life’s problems. Can you say FATHER ISSUES????

            Much better now though. Phew

          • It does seem to get pretty deep around here Raz. That’s just how I like it. I’ll take meaningful discussion over superficial fluff any day — even if the deep stuff gets uncomfortable.

            And that does sound awful. When death is a relief, it really puts things into perspective. I’m not surprised you had father issues for awhile afterwards.

            My dad’s death came out of the blue. He was ill for a couple days, went to the hospital, and suffered a massive stroke while he was there. We pulled the plug a few days later.

            I was not prepared.

            And since I basically didn’t deal with it at all, my issues were more subtle. But they were there all the same. And lasted for years.

            Perhaps I would’ve handled things better had I been raised with a greater awareness and openness about death. Who knows? Or maybe I would have screwed things up regardless.

  13. This is a brilliant and under-used motivational technique – DEATH. It’s really just facing reality for what it is instead of pretending that you have all the time in the world. My recent Facebook status was similar to this – “Today is important because it’s one of a limited number of days we have to live.”

    I think most people fear death because they never confront it and accept it as a part of life. And not only are they afraid, but they miss out on benefits like this article points out.

    Also, I liked what you did here…

    “When you drive to work – you’re dying.

    When you hang out with your friends – you’re dying.

    When you walk the dog – you’re dying.”

    That’s an awesome way to communicate this message. Nice job and thanks, Kevin.

    • “Today is important because it’s one of a limited number of days we have to live.” Loved this man.

      Tackling each day coming from this mindset enables you to move mountains. Anything worthwhile is going to take some time. Success doesn’t come overnight – it comes from a large quantity of days living with this mindset. I’d much rather die in the pursuit of something I love then in the pursuit of something I hate.

      Thanks for the kind words man. I’m glad you liked it.

    • Hey Stephen, I have to agree with Kevin here . . . awesome quote buddy!

      There are definitely some huge benefits to living with the thought that “someday, this is all gonna end.” It inspires you to make the most your time here. To push your limits. To conquer your fears.

      To just fucking LIVE.

      Just as there’s no light without dark, there’s no life without death. Death is what gives our life meaning. Without it, there would be no point. We’d just carry on and nothing would really matter. Nothing would be of significance.

      Death makes life worth living.

      Cheers!

  14. There are times when I find myself thinking ‘shit, there is only one chance at this’ and normally prompts me to ask ‘what am I doing right now’ and whether it is worthwhile.

    Of course, the fact you are thinking about death means you have an awareness that prevents you from being in reactive mode. Death we all assume is a long way off (I hope!) and so takes us out of the immediate here and now and allows us to see life along a platform and how you want to be on that platform. A valuable insight to gather.

    Thanks Kevin

    • Hey Aaron,

      The awareness that comes from constantly thinking about death is pretty freakin’ cool. It definitely allows us to slow things down and stop reacting to all the bullshit that we are surrounded with.

      You made a really good point about death not being an immediate things in our lives. But ultimately we really don’t know that. I could go to sleep tonight and not wake up. Shit like that is what fuels my fire.

      • Good job Kevin, its a good tool to have most definitely.

        I know Robin Sharma liked to talk about asking people to imagine themselves on their deathbed and thinking about how they’d like to be remembered.

        Aaron

    • “Shit, there is only one chance at this.”

      I love that Aaron. That’d be a great post in and of itself.

      I think you’ve hit upon something here. Few of us ever truly think about death — especially our own — since it just doesn’t seem like a real possibility. We expect it to come decades down the road. But as Kevin points out, it is in fact a very real possibility at all times. For everyone us.

      It’s worth putting some thought to the matter. ‘Cause it brings up an important question . . .

      “If I die tomorrow, what will I regret today?”

      When I think about it that way, I realize I better do more with my life . . . make more of it.

      Because my own list of regrets is far too long for the short time that I’ve been around.

  15. This is how I’ve become so productive in the past few years. By thinking about death daily. I’m 50. I’m likely more than halfway there. I want to leave something behind, a history of my life, a legacy for my daughter, a loving memory. The book “20,000 Days and Counting” tackles this topic well. I reviewed it a few months back at http://www.danerickson.net/?p=7730

    • Great to hear you have adopted this mindset man.

      Leaving behind a legacy is a very huge part of why a lot of people are on this path. Because working a shit job and feeling discontent your whole life will bring zero value. But forging your own path and making an impact in other people’s lives will bring exponential value.

      Love the idea behind that book by the way!

      • I’m with you on this one Kevin. Legacy is something I think about often. I wasted the first half of my life . . .

        So I’m gonna make up for it with the second half.

        That’s what really fires me up. That’s what inspires me.

        Nothing makes me cringe more than when I hear tale of those poor bastards who worked their entire lives at jobs they hated — just counting down the years to retirement — only to die a week after they finally finish up their last day. There’s something so tragic about it. About a life wasted.

        It ain’t gonna be me.

    • “I want to leave something behind, a history of my life, a legacy for my daughter, a loving memory.”

      That’s beautiful Dan.

      And it’s all the purpose a man would ever need in life.

      Cheers!

  16. Great post Kevin!!! Knowing our time here on earth is short should motivate us to take action on our purpose and dreams. I really like your statement: “You have the ability to carefully analyze your life like this was your last day on Earth and see what you have to show for it.” The legacy we have starts when we daily chose to make the right and best choices.

    • Excellent point Dan. Our lives ARE defined by the daily choices we make. Both big and small. They all add up to our legacy. If we really want to build a worthwhile legacy, we’d better pay attention and put some thought into the choices we are making each day. Because we never know exactly how much time we have to build it.

      Cheers!

      • So true man. Making anything extraordinary happen means you just have to string together a large sum of days. A lot of people lose the drive and determination somewhere along the way. But if you adopt the mindset that you’re always dying, shit gets put in perspective VERY quickly and will power sky rockets.

        Awesome stuff Dan.

  17. This is a great post – extra points for containing a scene from one of my favourite movies!

    I think about death every day, sometimes in a good way, other times in a bad way. It motivates and terrifies me at the same time. I noticed that I think about death more when I’m reading the news and it can send me into a little depressive spiral for the rest of the day.

    Ultimately every year that passes I get a little more motivated to get shit done. I believe that most of us who are still relatively young will live well over 100 (and with good health) so we are lucky to have a bit more to play around with than our grandparents ever had, but time is still precious and if we focus too much on planning the future we will end up totally ignoring the present.

    One day we will wake up, our teeth will fall out, we’ll piss our pants and realise that this death business is fast becoming a reality.

    I don’t want to reach that stage and hate myself for wasting my chances.

    • Hey Jamie,

      Thanks for the kind words man. Fight Club is definitely my favorite movie.

      I like how you said death motivates you and terrifies you at the same time. I feel the same way man. I definitely have a healthy fear for death since it’s always looming. But that fear is what drives me to hustle towards the things I want do in life.

      I truly hope you’re right and we do live until we’re 100 years old. Think about the impact we can make if we live that long. That shit will be exponential. But of course, that impact will only exist if we bust our asses every day.

      Great points man.

    • Jamie, throw away your TV dude! It’s freakin’ awesome not getting sucked into all the miserable shit that’s going on in the world. The news is just plain negative and depressing. I don’t think there’s anyone alive who wouldn’t fret about death after just 10 minutes viewing the nightly news.

      Shit’s that bad.

      Ever since I tossed mine, I’ve generally been more upbeat and positive about the world. I’ve been without for over a year and I don’t miss it one bit. Not to mention your productivity is gonna skyrocket.

      Cheers!

  18. This is a great reminder that life is short. If we don’t get off our ass and get going, it will pass us by before we know it.

    You remind me of something I read once. Back in the Roman times, when a general would come back after a highly successful campaign, they would throw a parade for him called a “triumph”. As he rode the chariot past the crowd a slave would occasionally whisper into his ear, “memento mori” or “remember that you will die”. The point is to not let the actions of today mask this illusion that you won’t die tomorrow. It’s meant to get you thinking about that inevitability so that you live for today.

    We only go around once so we might as well make it as kick-ass as we can.

    • Hey Steve,

      I love that story man. “Memento mori” is the heart and soul of this post.

      Keeping that knowledge at the forefront of life will ensure that we make the most of the time that we are given. I also love that he’s reminding himself after a successful campaign. It sounds like an incredible way to stay humble and never stop reaching towards success no matter how high he gets.

      Good shit Steve. Thank you for sharing that man.

    • That’s a cool story dude. They musta had some pretty brave slaves back in the day. But that’s a pretty powerful statement . . .

      “Remember that you will die.”

      That’s some serious heavy shit. I like it. It helps keep your head in check. Keeps things real.

      Thanks for sharing Steve.

      Cheers!

  19. Hi Kevin, nothing like a post about death to make you wake up and start thinking about your life, is there? It’s true. We can be sure that death is on our door step. So what are we going to do with it? What does that mean for our lives? What does it mean for our relationships? What does it mean for our families and friends?

    Now, I’m excited about your thoughts on Taxes. 🙂

    • Hey Bryan,

      Your exactly right man. Death is the greatest wake-up call there is and it’s the ultimate motivator to forge great relationships and build a beautiful life.

      As for takes I stopped watching news and politics so they could be passing some crazy laws and I wouldn’t know it haha.

      But as long as I pay that shit on time, I’ve got no worries. 🙂

    • I’ve got to agree with you Bryan, death is a massive motivator to get thinking about life. It’s kinda interesting actually . . . thinking about death is so often the same as thinking about life.

      Because death is a looking glass.

      We can’t see what’s on the other side, we can only see the reflection it casts . . . our own life.

      Cheers!

  20. I like the message but it’s a little bit twisted. Thinking about death every day is a little bit depressing. Let us celebrate life: no matter how good or bad, rich or poor, happy or miserable we have it.
    Let us celebrate every moment when we wake up and feel healthy and alive, see the blue sky and listen to the birds in the morning.
    Just be happy with who you are and with what you have. Our life is not all about the successes or failures or other “important” things.
    It’s not a rat race to prove something to yourself and others.
    It’s about enjoying every day in full no matter what it brings us and making the best out of it. Sometimes less is more… We are only human…

    • Hey Elena,

      I see what you are saying but I think gratitude is overused in this industry.

      If someone is completely fed up with their relationships, their health and their job they are going to struggle to celebrate life. But if they take serious forward action and identify how to get out of their current mess, then it will become exponentially easier to celebrate life.

      I’m definitely an advocate of making the most of the time you have here. Death is just a friendly reminder that our time is finite. 🙂

    • Beautifully said Elena. I agree 100% that life is so much more than just the sum total of our accomplishments and failures. And not too long ago, I probably would’ve agreed with you that thinking about death every day is a bit depressing.

      I’m not so sure now.

      Just today I was thinking about death . . . about what I’d like done with my body when I’m dead. Sounds morbid, but it was actually pretty uplifting.

      I don’t want to be cremated, and I sure as hell don’t want to be left in some coffin oozing pus and shit for the next 30 years. I just wanna be tossed into the ground and have a tree planted over me. No tombstone, no marker, just a tree. I want my death to nourish life. I want to feed the soil and everything in it. I want my remains to become part of the tree, I want the tree to provide shelter for the squirrels and a home for the birds. I want to become a part of the world in the natural way that we were meant to.

      Not burned to fine ash or locked in an airtight box.

      And as dark as those thoughts may seem, I actually felt pretty damn good about the idea of death . . . at least in that regard.

      Thanks for your honesty here Elena, I know my reply took a bit of a detour.

      Cheers!

  21. Great article!
    Yeah, being reminded daily that we’re mortal is definitely different than worrying about death each day. It’s just to remember that it happens to all of us.
    Ha, I’m definitely being burned. Just seems awesome. Then toss me in the lake or the ocean or something. Of course this is after they remove whatever organs they can use – I surely won’t need them.

    At my last doctor checkup the doc and I were laughing. He said the verdict was that I wasn’t dying. When I responded with “Well we’re all dying, just at different rates” the mood changed. Ha, I thought that a doctor of all people wouldn’t be scared to face the reality of certain death at some point while here on earth.

    Being reminded isn’t to stop enjoying the sunshine (I’m experiencing learning Spanish in Guatemala at the moment!) but it’s just to remind you that it’s an inevitable reality.

    • Hey Brooks,

      “Being reminded isn’t to stop enjoying the sunshine” – love this man. The whole idea behind this post is to acknowledge death is always looming and use that as fuel to seize the day and make the most of your time.

      Pretty crazy that the doctor was scared of the idea of death. You would think that of all people, they’d be the most at peace with it. But oh well!

      Enjoy your time in Guatemala man. That sounds badass.

  22. Great post. Fight Club is my favorite movie – before I watched it ten times.

    Death awareness is potent.