Memento Mori

Have you ever felt like you’re stuck in a rat race? You’rejust going through the motions. Though you have a dream in mind, you feel like it’s too unrealistic, too grandiose, and like it will always be a dream? It’s a struggle. And it only gets worse as you get older. Life will always get in the way and those that allow that to become an excuse will never see those dreams become reality. Henry David Thoreau said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Really think about that for a minute and you’ll see just how true it is. How many people are simply going through the motions not because they’re living life but because they’re afraid. They have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and they don’t have time to do the things they love to do because they’re too risky so they must resign themselves to a job or occupation that does nothing more than accomplish those basic tasks. It’s not that they couldn’t pay those bills or feed those mouths with what they love to do, but it’s probable that they wouldn’t so they never try, thus resigning themselves to the life of desperation. 

This is what become soul killing. The idea of everyone you see going through the motions, their jobs having sucked the youth and exuberance out of them. Where no one is truly happy, only content. It’s everywhere and it’s been a common theme in life. We’ve all heard the warnings of the nine-to-five that rots you from the inside out. You think you’re doing well because you’re making money and paying your bills and providing but is that all there is to life, providing and surviving? Then what differentiates us from squirrel searching for a nut or the bird feeding her young? They’re surviving just as we are, yet we tell ourselves we’re doing something different. 

We need to live deliberately. We need to do something we love before our souls are sucked from us and leave us shriveled and gasping. You can provide and live. Find something you love and don’t let it go. You can distract yourself with life, using it as an excuse as to why you not only didn’t accomplish your goals but didn’t even reach for them. Or you can find something you truly love, a goal you vehemently wish to accomplish, and attack it as if your life depends on it, because it does. You can say you wish you had the discipline and the time but let me save you the suspense – enough time will never magically befall upon you. You’ll make the time if it’s important enough to you and you’ll force yourself to become disciplined towards accomplishing that goal. Arnold Schwarzenegger, when speaking about having goals, said he only slept six hours a night to have more hours in the day to work. When someone asked what they could do because they slept eight hours, Arnold said, “Sleep faster, I would recommend.”

There are only twenty-four hours in a day and you’ll always find some bullshit to distract you whether it be video games, scrolling through social media, watching The Office for the seventh time through. You need to fight through that and keep your eye on the goals you have for yourself. Find something you truly take pleasure in and find a way to make a living doing it. You like carpentry? Start making tables and furniture to sell. You enjoy painting? Paint to your heart’s content and see if a friend will buy your work to hang in their house. Find something you can pour your soul into before you’re on your death bed wishing you’d done more. “Memento Mori” – Remember your death. No matter what you do, no matter how you try to cheat it, you will eventually die. Many are terrified of this fact and do everything they can to avoid it, therefore allowing it to trap them. Instead, allow it to liberate you and remind you to take chances because one day, you’ll have no more chances. You will have lived your life and will only be able to look in the rearview mirror and it’s only up to you to ensure you’ll like what you see. Love your family deeply, treat others with kindness, enjoy life, attack your goals, and take chances.

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