Living With Purpose: How Awareness of Death Can Transform Our Lives
I like to imagine things and paint scenarios in my head a lot. It can be overwhelming sometimes, but for the sake of this piece, I would implore you to indulge me. I just want to show you how the awareness of death can transform our lives and help us live more purposefully.
Imagine if you were diagnosed with a terminal illness (God forbid! It’s not your portion, and I don’t wish that on anyone), but just picture it for a moment. If you were given a specified number of years to live, let’s say five years give or take, would it change the way you live your life? Well, at first, you might feel depressed and unhappy, but after a while, you would accept your fate. When you finally come to terms with reality, wouldn’t you want the little time you have left to count for much? I bet many of us would make the most of those years.
We wouldn’t leave anything to chance anymore. We would start by taking care of our health, both physical and mental. We would prioritise our loved ones, our jobs, and the pursuit of our life’s goals and dreams. Nothing would be taken for granted.
Some of us might even quit our jobs because we’ve never derived satisfaction from them and instead launch our own startups where our true passions lie. Others would adopt healthier diets and incorporate exercise into their routines, all in an effort to extend their time on Earth. We would cherish every moment spent with our loved ones and create more meaningful memories.
We would treat each moment with them as if it were our last. We would strive to be more honest, intentional with our time and energy, kinder, more compassionate, more loving, and more accommodating. We would visit places we’ve always wanted to go and try out new things. We would remove all the limitations we’ve imposed on ourselves, wouldn’t we? We would simply live.
Now, what if I told you that you already have a terminal illness? I don’t mean leukaemia or cystic fibrosis, but the truth is, we’re all running out of time. We all have a limited lifespan, and one day, we will expire.
Therefore, you must protect the integrity of the life you have now. It’s bad enough that you don’t know how much time you have left on this side of life. Hence, you can’t just leave your life to chance.
Having a casual knowledge of the inevitability of death is one thing, but living with the awareness of it is another thing entirely. You don’t get to choose the hand life deals you, but that’s okay. There’s no need to sit around complaining and grumbling about how your life is or how you wish it were. You have to play the hand you’ve been dealt.
The life you desire won’t just automatically fall into your lap; you have to create it.
It’s time to embrace your purpose and manifest your full potential. Live with such integrity that you can die well. Death shouldn’t scare us if we live intentionally.
Instead, the awareness of it should motivate us to make the most of the time we have before it’s over. Mediocrity has never benefited anyone greatly. Find a balance. Dance to the rhythm of your destiny.
Let this understanding fill you up and flow through you until you transform into a better person because of it. Don’t be a spectator in your own life. Be proactive and play an active role in the script you’re writing.
So that when your time on Earth is done, you can peacefully leave with the assurance that you gave it your best shot. It’s not the fear of death that gives meaning to our lives; it it is the purposeful way we lived it, embracing the gift of existence until the very end.