The truth is . . . once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.
Ever since reading Tuesdays With Morrie, I’ve been quite taken with the idea that in order to live, you must learn how to die. In other words, in order to get the most out of life, you should live each day with the understanding that your time on this planet is limited.
The problem is, we’re not very good at remembering our mortality—especially while we’re young. As such, we end up binge-watching Netflix and overeating McDonalds far more often than we should.
Morrie isn’t the only one to recognize the power of keeping mortality in mind as often as possible. In his book Show Your Work!, artist Austin Kleon recommends reading the obituaries every day to inspire you to take action. It’s a good suggestion, but the idea of reading obituaries every day doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest.
Thankfully, the internet is chock-full of people finding creative means of remembering their own mortality.
Yet, it seems that mortality is far from the most popular thing people like to remind themselves of. How do I know? During my research, I started typing remind yourself that you will die someday into Google. The Google search box, in an attempt to show me popular searches, gave me the following auto-completed results.
Not quite what I was looking for, I’m afraid. It seems one’s mortality isn’t top of mind for people searching on the web.
Nevertheless, after sprucing up my Google search, I found some interesting techniques for keeping mortality top of mind, whether to boost your motivation to act on goals or for greater mindfulness of our time on this beautiful planet.
1. The Colored Beads Technique
I came across this technique on Boing Boing. In a nutshell, game designer Chris Crawford owns 29,216 small plastic beads, which he transfers into a jar with each passing day, representing his numbered days on earth.
Similar to the colored beads technique is using jelly beans to represent your life in days. Even if you can’t replicate this, the video describing it is a powerful reminder of our limited time on Earth. Continue Reading…