The day has finished. We have spent today thinking of the following question:

If this were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?

As I have previously discussed, one of the keys to stoicism is reflecting upon death and how it is inescapable.

As Marcus writes in Meditations:

“Death smiles at us all; all we can do is smile back.”

It will come for all of us, therefore the simple fact that we are here and alive in this moment is a blessing. We should not waste a moment of it. That being said, do we go about doing everything we want to as if today was our final day? The answer to this will, in most cases, be no.

For most of us, it is nearly impossible to live each and every day as if it were our last. It is not practical to live that way, we have responsibilities. Should today be our last day, would we go to work? Would we get into a fight with our significant other? Cry over spilled milk?

We do not need to live as if it is our last day, but rather, live how we wish to be. As Marcus further writes in Meditations:

“Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good.” 

Loving our family, preparing ourselves for our final day, making sure we have lived the life we want to live, that’s living today as if it were our last. As Marcus reminds us:

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”

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?

The Stoic Within

The art of living a virtuous life.

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