I’m sure a lot of you will read the title of this piece and think to yourself, “Jaysus, that’s a bit depressing isn’t it?”. I once thought that but through reading the works of the Dalai Lama (translated), I now believe the exact opposite to be true. I will attempt to shed light on this perspective but I’m only one man with a keyboard and someone else’s idea.
You will die and soon after (in the grand scheme of the universe) you will be forgotten. Everything that you’ve ever known will fade into non-existence. Everyone you’ve ever come into contact with, your close friends, lovers, classmates, enemies, they will all die and their existence will become a memory which will also fade into non-existence. Shit buzz.
But is it really? Consider the possibility that you won’t die or that you won’t ever be forgotten. What is the point of life if there is no end to it? Where would the motivation to do anything come from if one had an eternity to do it in? The brevity of our time here is what makes it so precious. This is what I think about when I consider my own demise. It’s constantly approaching. The end is coming and there’s no stopping it. My body is literally disintegrating before my eyes. I believe it important to remind myself of this as often as I can.
In accepting this as truth, there comes a great freedom. The freedom to do instead of sitting and pondering what we could do. I speak from experience when I say that the belief that we ‘have time’ leads to us losing an awful lot of it. The idea that time is a possession of ours, that it is something we can have even a smidge of control over is complete and utter bullshit and we should all accept this.
Anyone who has ever suffered with procrastination (read: all of you) will relate to this. “I have 6 weeks to do this assignment” quickly turns into “Oh my god, it’s due in two days!” when we believe we are in control. We don’t value the time because we think it is plentiful. But isn’t it amazing how much work we can get done in such a short time as a result of a deadline induced panic? Consider how much we can get out of that little bit of time at the end when we are truly dedicated to the task at hand. Imagine being able to unlock that focus, that determination to accomplish a given task at all times. Imagine how rich our lives would be if we could be here and now always.
Know that your time here is precious. It truly is. If you can realise this, then you will see the value of making the most of your time. The top 5 regrets of the dying really put this into perspective. Live a life true to yourself, don’t work too hard (at a career you don’t love), express your feelings, stay in touch with friends and let yourself be happy (not easy!).
No matter what you do in your life, no matter how many people you impress, no matter how many women you seduce, no matter how much money you accumulate before the lights go out.. it doesn’t matter in the end. It matters now. Now matters. The future is going to be here in its own time so just let it come to you instead of preparing for it all the time. If your mind is always distracted by the future, the future will never come. It’s always just ahead of you. Don’t waste now thinking about then. Be here now because it’s all there is.