Dear Alexander #034: Live As If I’m Going To Die Today, or Tomorrow?
How would I live if I was going to die in 6 months?
How would I live if I was going to die in 60 years?
The old adage that one should live as if they were going to die tomorrow is fundamentally wrong…for my life.
Option 1: Live As If You Were Going To Do Die Soon
If I knew I was going to die in the near future…
I wouldn’t work on those projects.
I wouldn’t check my emails.
I wouldn’t try to seek more knowledge.
I wouldn’t worry about falling asleep and waking up at a certain time.
I wouldn't care if exercise made me look good.
I would eat anything I desired.
I wouldn’t talk as much.
I wouldn’t do almost any of the thing’s I’m donig now to create a better future.
To live with the vigor that death is imminent is to forgo effort towards creating a more prosperous future for myself. Why would I care about working towards a future that I knew I wouldn't be here to live?
However, human life is not idiosyncratic, my efforts trickle down and affect others, it becomes systemic. To know I was going to die within a short time frame (<years) would cause a dramatic shift away from working towards a more prosperous future for myself towards immensely and deeply experiencing the wonders of the human experience within the natural world while being of service to others.
Option 2: Live As If You Were Going To Do Die Later
Now that sounds great in of itself, why wouldn’t I want to do that all the time? The pursuit of bettering one’s self and mastering one’s mind over a lifetime whilst being of service to others is one of the sweetest most satisfying gifts offered by life. But it is dependent on the assumption of an 80–100-year life. The assumption is statistically probable, but far from guaranteed.
So what do I do?
Live as if I was going to die soon, or live as if I was going to die later?
Both. You don’t have to pick only one — it’s not binary.
I would, will and must live with the gratitude and vigour that everything can be taken away. At the same time I must also seek and attain betterment for myself while serving others via my pursuit of excellence. During this process, I am free and able to periodically disconnect from the pursuit of self to engage in the deeply wonderous world that I inhabit. Right now, this is my magic to living a wondrous excellent life.