Everybody eventually dies. At an emotional level that is very sad. At an intellectual level it is merely fact.
We don’t spend much time thinking about our eventual end. Lacking that awareness, many days are filled with wasted moments, missed opportunities, bad choices and mediocre behavior. We live as if our lifespans were infinite.
Death–the jarring loss of a loved one or friend–can be a wake up call, challenging the living to more fully and joyfully embrace the present. And with each fresh reminder of our mortality, we have the opportunity to pursue our lives with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and better choices for how we live.
“What man can you show me who places any value on his time, who reckons the worth of each day, who understands that he is dying daily? For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; the major portion of death has already passed, whatever years be behind us are in death’s hands.” Seneca
Don’t dwell on your eventual demise but don’t forget about it, either. We should live with a healthy tension between the awareness of life and death. And we are most successful when each loss we face, however painful, motivates us to live better and be better, hopeful that the lesson won’t quickly be lost on us.
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Do not dwell on ultimate demise. Exactly.
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“Strive For Excellence” is our family motto. What is one way to maximize every moment, embrace opportunities, make good choices, and reject mediocrity? I believe the key is to be grateful for EVERY opportunity and challenge, and “strive for excellence” in all we do.
One of my favorite quotes comes from Vince Lombardi: “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”