Memento Mori: How to die without regrets.
Unless you live under a rock you likely know that there was a helicopter crash which took the lives of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna; baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa; mother and daughter Sarah and Payton Chester; Mamba Academy basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.
I turn 33 years old this month, many in my generation (a few before, a few after) grew up watching Kobe Bryant perfect his craft while a lot of us were calling his name as we were shooting 3’s of our own.
It sucks when people die young, the loss of an athlete’s life is no more important than the loss of any friend or family member’s life with the exception that the athlete was known by more; their life was observed by the world so the impact will be felt on a wider scale.
Whether we’re talking of Kobe Bryant or you, an average man or woman doing normal day to day things, there is no difference in the way you need to be approaching life, with the full understanding that at any moment, it could end…
Most people are familiar with the phrase (more of a reminder), Memento Mori (which is Latin for ‘Remember that you must die‘.
Most interpret this to mean YOLO (You Only Live Once) and that you need to remember you’re going to die, so you need to make sure you’re going to live each day to the fullest.
That is not how I interpret it.
When I was writing my book, 31 Days to Masculinity: A Guide to Helping Men Live Authentic Lives I made sure to include this reminder, in fact, one of the days (Day #13) is entitled, Memento Mori.
Here’s my view and I hope it helps you better prepare yourself and your loved ones for the inevitable; whether that’s tomorrow or six decades from now, you’ll be prepared and they will as well, zero regrets.
Day #13 MEMENTO MORI
- We all have but one life to live so we cannot waste the time we’ve been granted with the living.
- Never forget that growing older is a privilege, one which has been denied to many.
- Every man will die two deaths; once when his heart stops beating, again when his name is spoken for the last time…
- What would you say to yourself if you were to die today?
- Who would you apologize to?
- How long would your name and legacy carry on?
Too few wrap themselves up in the black blanket of death; I think of it daily.
How can you say you appreciate life and are grinding as hard as you can if you aren’t actively thinking of how little time we have on this spinning rock?
To me, there is no greater motivator.
- 100 Push- Ups
- Perform Negative Visualizations
- Write yourself a ‘dying wish’ letter
I want you to separate your masculine spirit from your physical body & mind and then I want you to objectively ask yourself these three questions:
1. If you were to die tonight, what would you regret having left undone?
2. What do you wish you had done more?
3. Were the excuses you used to keep yourself from taking action valid?
Write down your answers, in detail.
This isn’t a blog post you read, try to complete the challenge, see what you come up with…
I know this sounds like something out of Fight Club and looking at it now, it definitely serves the same purpose those scenes did in the film. The intent is to wake you the fuck up to the fact that you are going to die; but choosing to live?
That takes work, commitment, and more effort than most are capable of mustering.
Lets put it into perspective:
You can run your mouth for your entire life talking about how much of a man you are and how great of a life you deserve or you can become a man who lives a fascinating life.
You’re going to die no matter what you do; the actions you choose to take before that moment are entirely up to you. You never know when that moment is going to come so you’d better start living that great life now.
WRAPPING UP DAY #13
Death is not something you should fear or look at with hesitation, you should view your mortality as a gift from the gods. It is in your limited time on this Earth that you’ll find your fuel for life. You must appreciate the pain of working out, the colors of flowers, and the sound of your child’s voice…
You never know if you’ll see it, hear it, or feel it again.
Life is fleeting, live it while you’ve got the chance
In case you missed it, this isn’t about you; it’s about those you’ve left behind.
When your time comes, will your wife, children, friends, or family have any regrets?
- Will you have told them you were proud of them?
- Will you have left them with a clear path to take heading forwards without your presence?
- Will you have forgiven those you forgive and made it clear with those you have not that while unforgivable, there is no grudge?
Will anyone be wishing you had just said, done, or attempted to talk just one more time?
How many loved ones have you not spoken to in months? What are you waiting for, them to be gone for good so the opportunity is gone forever?
Pick up the phone, start making yourself regret free.
Start helping those around you close bonds and feel secure knowing that if you were to die unexpectedly, that at least they gave their all and there was nothing left unsaid between you and them.
Life happens, death does too, Memento Mori…
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