The day has finished. We have spent today thinking of the following question:
What am I really scared of?
For me, after spending the day reflecting upon this question, I ultimately came to realize that death is what I am afraid of because death, as far as I know, is all ending. I do not know what comes after this life, if anything. Therefore, the clock that I constantly hear in my head puts pressure on me to succeed and achieve all of my goals as quick as possible.
Everything I want to try and experience, to achieve, ends with my passing. With this thought, I come to realize that all of my other fears such as failing, losing money, etc. are all built from this fear of death.
If death did not exist, then there would be no need to achieve things in a certain timeframe. Death brings about the beauty of life and our experiences within it. If things were everlasting, are they as beautiful as before? Jesse Itzler, while on the James Altucher podcast, said that he reverse engineers his life through time because we all believe we have more of it than we actually do. He uses James’ mother as an example. James sees his mother twice a year, and Jesse, for ease of argument, says James’ mother will live another ten years. If you compound the amount of moments James has left with his mother, you’re looking at 20. 20 more times he will see his mother before he won’t see her anymore.
This is because we believe we have more time than we actually do. We believe that over the course of ten years, we will have ten years with our parents, friends, etc. But we do not spend every day with them and therefore, do not really have ten years of time with them. I see my relatives, if I am lucky, maybe a half dozen times throughout the year. So, in actuality, I do not have as much time with people as I may think. And this applies to everyone.
But this idea of death and time does not just apply to our friends and family – it extends to all areas of our life. And it’s because death is the ever looming thought that waits for us at the end of this hall of life. We will not escape it. Therefore, the farther down the hall we walk, the less time we have with everything else, the louder that clock becomes, the more important our goals and aspirations are. For me, death is my ultimate fear, not because of what may or may not come after, but because of what leads up to death. We waste so much time and don’t even realize how precious that time truly is.
Like Marcus Aurelius states in Meditations:
“Some things are rushing into existence, others out of it. Some of what now exists is already gone. Change and flux constantly remake the world, just as the incessant progression of time remakes eternity.
We find ourselves in a river. Which of the things around us should we value when none of them can offer a firm foothold?
Like an attachment to a sparrow: we glimpse it and it’s gone.
And life itself: like the decoction of blood, the drawing in of air. We expel the power of breathing we drew in at birth (just yesterday or the day before), breathing it out like the air we exhale at each moment.”
Set your goals. Go after what you want in life. Put your fears to the side. One day, your fears will no longer matter. Time continues on, we do not.
So stop fearing.
How have we grown from this? Did we execute any differently today because of this? Do you feel that you have new tools to accomplish tomorrow?