How to make death your ally for a happier life
What do you fear the most?
The fear of speaking out, of creating change, challenging the status quo? Many of us feel we don’t have the right to question the way things are, or propose what could be.
Those types of people are someone else, so our ideas remain unknown.
Worse still, all this boat rocking creates conflict, not everyone is comfortable with this.
For the socially anxious it’s difficult because speaking out will draw attention to us.
In order to change things for the better we would have to connect to others and tell them of our ideas.
We would feel their judging eyes upon us. Worse still those we know could reject us, ostracise us and we would be left alone.
For many, greatness is a risk too far. Yet what is the alternative? A life of mediocrity?
Mediocrity is a fear so many of us have as well. We want to make a difference, to know that our life meant something. That we loved and lived. A life of passion and purpose, and all the suffering we endured was worth it.
The real question you have to ask yourself is…. which is the greater fear?
That’s what happened to me when I realised the question I wanted to answer was not how to cure social anxiety but how live despite it, my fears had changed in priority.
No longer can I stop living out of fear. Now I fear dying an unlived life.
‘And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.’ – Anais Nin
We should have a greater fear of living a mediocre life, of regret, than the fear of using our voice because we only get one life and there are people who are far worse off than ourselves.
‘Our fear of death should be greater than our fear of life’ – Richard Collison. Tweet this.
Those people who live close to death understand life far better, soldiers, extreme sport enthusiasts, and living in the wilderness. Death can take them away suddenly and easily.
But living close to death can be metaphorical. Entrepreneurs also live close to death because they put their work out into the world, as do artists. They risk being vilified, their ego is on the line.
That’s the key here, taking a risk. I feel we need to know what they know, but that doesn’t mean exposing ourselves to so much danger.
Death can be our ally in our quest to live the good life. But our society seems to have engineered that fear out of us.
But we can use our fear of death to help us ignore the trivial stuff and work on something we can be proud of. Remind yourself of this dreadful inevitability, and do this often, every day in fact.
When we forget that, we become distracted and loose our way. The common question, what would you do if money and time were no object? The answer will be nothing, because there would be no incentive to do so.
Perhaps a better question would be to ask. What would you do if you only had four years left to live? Like the Replicants in the film Blade Runner. Would you be able to face death with as much poetry and poise as Roy Batty did at the end of the film?
Your time is now. It’s time to create your own history, for one day you will look back on these years. Will you say you used this time well or not?
Death us getting closer every moment so do what Nietzsche says.
‘Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!’ – Friedrich Nietzsche
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