Steve Jobs once said: “Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.
Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”
This quote really resonates with me. In my last post, I talked about purpose and this post relates to purpose as well. Personally, I struggle a lot with the idea of death. I do not want to die and I do not want other people to die...especially the people I care about. I have become so fixated on the fear of death that I have forgotten how to live. It is something I am working on and I am sure it is something I will be working on for a while. One of the reasons I fear death is that I do not want to leave this world prematurely. I feel I have something to give, something to share. I do not want to leave this planet until I have shared that something with the world. For most of my life, I was obsessed with getting good grades and taking the next step so that I could "make it" in this world. However, I do not want to just "make it". I do not want to be driven by the idea of "making it" which our society says involves lots of money and material things. With that being said, I realize it is important to work hard so that you can be in a position where you can support yourself and your family. I do not want to be driven by the idea of going to a college far away from home where I feel alone to get some random degree that I may not even use simply because that is what I have learned to think I "should" do. I do not want to be driven by the idea of working a 9-5 job for the rest of my life. Granted, I will have to work a 9-5 job at some point in my life for a certain amount of time so I can support myself and work towards my goals.
What I am trying to get across is that I want to do something that is meaningful to me. Starting a Twitch channel so that I can stream video games is meaningful to me. Why? Because video games have been an outlet for me my whole life and I have stayed in touch with my oldest brother because of them. I want to be that outlet for someone else. Even if it is just one person. It would mean a lot to me if I could make just one person who watches me play video games laugh. It would mean a lot to me if I could make just one person who is having a terrible day, who feels down and out, who wants some sort of encouragement to smile after watching me. Starting this blog is important to me. Why? Because this blog is a way for me to share my thoughts and my perspective on life. I want to provoke thought in my readers' minds. I want to make my readers laugh, cry, and smile. I want to move my readers. Starting this blog is meaningful to me because moving someone to laugh, cry, or smile is priceless to me. So if you've made it this far in the post, thank you for reading! Let's wrap this up.
Death is inevitable. Death is the destination we all share. My fear of death is what motivates me to do something meaningful. I know I may not be Einstein. I know I am no F. Scott Fitzgerald. I know I may not be great or extraordinary, but I do believe that ordinary people can do incredible things. Knowing that I will one day cease to exist is what makes life worth living. Knowing that the people who mean the most to you will one day be gone is what makes loving them in the here and now worthwhile. The fact that something can be taken away or snatched from us or lost is what makes striving for that something meaningful. If we lived forever on this planet we would have no motivation to do anything. Death is what pushes us to move forward, test our limits, and do incredible things. So what I need to learn is not to fear death but to accept it and use it to fuel the fire for accomplishing the things I want to do in this life. I want to wake up and look myself in the mirror with the assurance that I am trying to do just that.