That Shouldn’t Be a Surprise
“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
― Norman Cousins
Your death is inevitable. You will die. Unless someone develops some super advanced technology, your death is guaranteed. You cannot avoid it.
Some of us will meet our death when we are old and decrepit and some of us will die far too young. It’s impossible to know when we will meet our fate. It could be in 50 years or it could be tomorrow.
I’m not trying to scare you. You should know this already.
In fact, there is no reason to be afraid of death. It’s something which happens to everyone and there is nothing you can do to stop it. So why be afraid of something you can’t control? Why be afraid of the unknowable?
I’m not saying you should live life in a way which increases your chances of dying, but worrying about death is a waste of energy. You can’t overcome it. You will die and there is nothing you can do about it.
Death is a part of life like birth, youth, growing old, and every other thing which happens in between.
But there is a difference between existing and living. Existing is merely being alive. Existing is being miserable going through the day-to-day motions without trying to improve your situation. It’s repeating the same bad habits over and over and then wondering why life is not enjoyable. Existing is not living — not being alive. Many of us know that feeling but are afraid to do anything about it.
We get used to the routine. The drive to and from work is hard to remember because you’ve done it a thousand times. Work is a chore we have to endure to be happy when we aren’t at work.
Existing is staying in a miserable job you hate so you can have the occasional vacation and buy things you don’t need. Existing is telling yourself one day things will change. One day YOU will change and finally do what you want.
But that day is always tomorrow isn’t it?
You are always getting ready to live instead of actually living. You have become so used to being miserable that merely existing is normal.
“Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”
But we should not be afraid of death — what we should be afraid of is not living. Living differs from existing. Living is enjoying your existence.
Most of us avoid what we don’t want instead of pursuing what we do want. We become used to being comfortable. Complacency is accepted to be the same as happiness. I realize happiness comes and goes. Yet, you can limit unhappiness through your choices and actions. Better choices make for a better life.
So many of us put off our lives for the future. Then, when we get to the end, we realize we never lived the life we wanted — and it’s too late to change.
Many are going along with what everyone else is doing. Existing.
But we need to shift our thinking away from the tradition of following the normal path and live life on our terms — and create our own path.
Every day you don’t take action to change your life is another day you can’t get back. The longer you wait, the easier it is to become fine with what you have. You train yourself to stay in the same life. To be complacent with misery.
“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”
— Anais Nin
I think of death as the cessation of life. It reminds me I should not focus on the final ending, but everything that happens until that point. I should focus on living the life I want.
You will die. But death is the final event in a long series of events. It is always within your power to make those events along the way satisfying and meaningful. How long you exist is beyond your control, but HOW you exist is within your power.