The Art of Living as if You’re Going to Die Tomorrow

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

They say we are capable of experiencing millions of different mental states, yet we waste most of our life cycling through the same five or six of them.

There are around 200 countries in the world, yet one in five people never travel to another country. They also tend to die within a fifty-mile radius of where they were born.

The average person spends eight hours per day sleeping, six hours watching television, and more hours than I’d care to count rewatching the same movies and TV shows, reading the same books over and over again.

The average woman will kiss 15 men, enjoy two long-term relationships, and have her heartbroken twice before she finds someone she can settle with. The average woman will have seven sexual partners, while the average man ten.

I, too, am guilty of most of these things. I have wasted most of my twenties by being depressed, socially anxious, broke, single.

I have wasted three years of my life wishing for someone who didn’t love me to come back.

I only ever traveled to England for a total of ten days. Once.

I, too, have rewatched the same movies, over and over again, with different people or all by myself.

And I, too, have been reading The Great Gatsby once a year ever for the past decade or so.

But more tragically than all of that, I have wasted an awful lot of time vacationing on Someday Island.

“Someday I’ll be a published author. Someday I’ll find the love of my life. Someday I’ll be financially free.”

Someday…

And you know what makes someday such a perverse word? We often couple it with “if only.”

We lose hope before we even embark on the journey.

And that’s how we waste our time.

The truth is that life’s a beautiful thing. Yeah, life’s pain. But it’s the kind of pain that reminds you that you are alive.

It would be quite terrible to live forever because then we’d all be kings and queens of procrastination.

You’re going to die. And I don’t say this to make you panic or anything. The panic will grow inside you, as your time runs out, as you grow tired and weary and unable to do what you’ve always wanted to do but postponed.

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These 5 Quotes Changed My Mindset Forever

Photo by David Kiriakidis on Unsplash

Nine years ago, just as my father declared bankruptcy, I went through a sort of mid-mid-life crisis; the kind you often have to fight against when you’re twenty-something and lost.

Nothing made sense. I struggled with depression and feelings of insecurity. I was a bunch of good intentions held back by a set of limiting self-beliefs, anxieties, addictions, all stitched together with a lot of hope.

I was so desperate for a way out of hell that I couldn’t see the fact that hell was something I had built for myself, hell was something I was carrying with me wherever I went.

During these years, as I slowly descended into darkness, I’d often stumble upon quotes that I’d deeply resonate with. They’d offer a bit of comfort, a bit of clarity, and I’d ponder and ponder about them.

The ones I never forgot about are the ones that defined my mindset and allowed me to escape the hell of my existence.

Here are five quotes that defined my mindset and allowed me to fight for my dreams.

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Happiness: A Matter of Perspective

Most people spend their lives waiting for something to happen. When they’re happy, they’re waiting for something to ruin that happiness. They feel it, an energy of sorts, waiting around the corner to consume their smiles. When they’re sad, when they feel something is missing, they wait for something to make them smile again.

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Too Far Apart

“There are too many of us and we are all too far apart.”

Kurt Vonnegut

I’m writing these words knowing that people from all over the world are going to read them. People of all ages, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, of different religious beliefs. Most of them, I’ll never get a chance to meet. Most of them, I don’t know how they look like, what’s the thing they want most in this world, or what is it that they’re afraid of… most of them are perfect strangers to me.

Yet, simply by writing these words, having the certainty that my words will reach them, they become a little bit more than strangers. They become human beings, just like myself, and that is one of life’s greatest achievements.

Because it’s become increasingly difficult to realize that every single person we see walking past us on the street is another human being. We have become immune to everything but ourselves: we see tragedy and pain on the news, read about it in newspapers… it all feels fake somehow. We can no longer empathize with others, just because we’re so many… so, so many.

And we really are so far apart from each other, because we all build invisible walls to keep us safe. It’s all about our needs, our desires, our pain, our tragedies. We want what we want, and we won’t give up until we have it.

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5 Quotes From Marcus Aurelius to Help You During These Troubling Times

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Most people know about Marcus Aurelius from the movie Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe.

But that portrayal of the philosopher-emperor is but a glimpse of what the actual figure was like in real-life.

When he was only seventeen, then emperor Hadrian would come to respect and admire Marcus, calling him verissimus, meaning most true and truthful.

Despite all the stress and turmoil he must have faced as the most powerful man during some of history’s most turbulent times, he somehow managed to live a life of virtue.

He did not only write philosophy. He embodied it. If Socrates was the wisest man to ever live, then Marcus Aurelius was the most virtuous.

And his advice can helps us all during these troubling times that we must face right now.

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