How Do You Live?

The question in this article’s title came to mind after I read, Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilych and watched the film, “Ikiru”. Both stories have a common theme of a man buried in bureaucracy, who has a terminal illness. He realizes he hasn’t lived at all! They both, through facing death, figured out their lives contained no meaning for them.

One of the quotes in “Ikiru” was; “Men are such fools, they only realize life’s beauty when they are faced with death.”

It makes you think: It’s man’s duty to enjoy life. Most of us, in our day-to-day routine, have artificial lives marked by shallow relationships, self-interest and materialism. This leaves us barren of meaning in our lives.

When the two protagonists face death it changes the way they see the world. Death forces them to give their life meaning that is their own.

If you look over your shoulder the Grim Reaper is right behind you. So, while you have life, enjoy it.

So much depression and neuroses happen in a person’s life because they feel life hasn’t any real significance. You and I live in the here and now. What will you do with the time that lies ahead of you? This time is unshaped and full of uncertainty. When you stand at this present point in life maybe you will take a completely different direction to the one which has made you who you are.

So, How Do You Live? You need to find something that is important to you. Some activity that you can throw yourself into, so you connect with the world in a way that you feel “things matter”.

Things happen in life (illness, lost of a loved one, etc.), but you can still find meaning in life if your attitude is positive.

I, personally, find meaning through writing. My writing ignites a spark in me so I am aware of the fact that I am alive and to make the most of it. There is so much to be written, it can keep you busy for a lifetime. So much to be explored through the written word. I have the freedom to write ANYTHING, but of course, it won’t be EVERYTHING!

That thought allows me to choose what I write about and those choices illuminate the meanings in my life. I write about what is meaningful to me.

Writing, to me, is what makes my life, in retirement, worthwhile.

That’s How I Live!


This article was posted by David Wise author of “Web of Guilt”, “24 Traumatic Hours, Twice”, and “The Becoming”.

All available on Amazon in ebook and paperback.

Also published on Medium.

6 thoughts on “How Do You Live?

  1. My life right now is the theater and singing. I am doing something I always wanted to do but felt it was not right earlier. I realize the time is getting shorter every day and that’s OK. I have done what makes me happy and I can move on to what’s next. I am not afraid. I am a happy man.

  2. I am into music from the 50’s and 60’s. I have a band called “The Kruzers”.
    We created a band stage, bar, dance floor and eating area in my barn.
    The band practices and has shows here. They also perform out in the public.
    The band consists of five gentlemen in their sixties. They are all retired. They all
    played for years with various bands some famous some not. They have known
    each other for many years. I have the privilege to have the Base Player as my
    significant other. I have also met many famous people with these guys. I feel
    like I am in heaven on earth. God Bless and Life is wonderful.

  3. We tell ourselves a ‘story’ and then we believe it. I feel it all comes down to conditioning…what are families, culture and society tell us what we must ‘aspire’ to, to be happy. Happiness is not acquiring ‘stuff’. For me happiness is about that deep rooted faith that I have in myself, that no matter what happens or where I find myself, I’ll be better than OK – everything else is just geography.
    Regardless, of whether I’m writing, editing or publishing and formatting, to me it carries the same level of happiness as gardening, reading or playing footy with the kids. You gotta learn to love it all, cos who YOU are is the secret to finding happiness and joy.
    Just think – when you are on your deathbed, do you think you’ll be thinking about your flat screen TV, your house, your car??? It’s the feelings that we’ve acquired throughout our life that shapes us. So go on folks, shine and show your happiness!

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