Stoic Coffee Break
106 - Never Beginning To Live
April 24, 2018
“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” ― Marcus Aurelius

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

― Marcus Aurelius

If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, then you’ll recognize the term “Memento Mori” which means to remember death, in that you you could leave life at any moment. The Stoics believed strongly in keeping this idea in the forefront of their decision making and how they went about their daily lives. It is used as tool to help put things in perspective. It doesn’t mean that you should live each day like it was your last in that you don’t go to work, and party like there was no tomorrow.

What it does mean was that you live each life in a way that you would be proud of how you lived that day. It also means that you don’t put off those things that are important for some other day, because that day may never come.

Are there things that you’re putting off? Are there dreams and goals that you want to accomplish but you’re waiting for everything to line up and for the perfect conditions to arise? The thing is, there is never a perfect time. And if we view things through the lens of Memento Mori, we remind ourselves that we may not be here tomorrow.

In my own life, it’s taken me up until my 40’s to really step up and decide that I want to follow some of my dreams. At the beginning of this year, I started the podcast as a step forward in following some of the dreams and goals that I had. Even though I was scared that people would think this was dumb or that I didn’t know what I was talking about, I did it anyway.

And what I’ve learned along that way, is that if you take a small step every day towards your goal, you’ll find it impacts everything else in your life. As you see progress each day, no matter how small, it helps you start to take control of your own life. Because by taking a small step every day, you are controlling one thing that you can control. Your actions.

Because the thing is, you are going to die. That is a certainty. And if you never live the life that you’re meant to, then why be afraid to die? If you’re not living the life you want, then is it any better than death? There’s a reason why people are so afraid of zombies and the idea of zombies. It’s because it’s someone that is alive but not really living. And if you feel like what you do doesn’t really matter in the long run, then what’s harm in doing something you love?

And this doesn’t mean that you have throw out the life you have. I work on this podcast everyday, and I still have my day job. I’d like to encourage you to make a goal to do something that you love, that makes you feel alive, for at least 20 minutes everyday. Whether that’s writing every day. Playing an instrument or singing.
Or training for a marathon. Whatever it is that makes you feel alive, try to work on it a little each day. And stick with for as long as you can, and see what other areas of your life it impacts as you are consistently taking control of your life.

Remember, death is certain. But to live a choice.