What is the number one essential for living a life that’s true to who and what you are?
The essential is facing your own mortality. In other words, Facing Death.
Does that term scare you? Well, it shouldn’t because it is a great motivator to living a full life.
Motivator? Yes, when you face your limitation (death) you are liberated for the great experience of actually “living” and making meaningful choices.
Your limitation in life is your mortality. Being aware that your death is an inevitable part of your future can spur you on to make a meaningful life for yourself.
Embracing your death forces you to take seriously the choices you make about how to live. The inevitability of death makes life valuable. As you get older the supply of life gets smaller, but the appreciation of life gets greater.
The other essential to living well is “Living In Time.”
Living well requires you to have the right orientation toward your past, the present, and your future. Remember all your choices are made in the present.
What does time mean to you, on an everyday basis? Does it feel sort of disconnected between past, present, and future, with only the present having any real significance?
The everyday time seems like you’re IN TIME, and the present is where you exist, so it is the most important of the three times, past, present, and future. If you’re IN TIME, you feel like you are moving through it, it is EXTERNAL to you.
If you think of time from a first-person point of view, you understand time from the inside. It’s called “Lived Time.” There is no exact boundaries between past, present, and future. Your life is connected ACROSS time.
You naturally move forward toward the future, but you have to move forward from SOMEWHERE. Your existence has a starting point, your history (past).
Your Self emerged out of your past. So, you exist in the past!
You didn’t ask to be born in this time or in this culture. Certain possibilities are available to you in this time, but not all! Another limitation! Just as death is a limitation your birth is a limitation. When, where and to who are all birth limitations.
So, your past is NOT dead! Your past is in you, giving light to the present. Your options were limited by your birth. But this is YOU, it’s what makes you an individual.
Look at time another way, you also exist in the future! You’re always looking ahead, what’s next? You are running toward your future in anticipation.
In conclusion, we tend to join the past and future in the present. The present is your focal point where life comes together into a WHOLE across time.
In your present you see your world and your existence in a new way.
You face death and that means your meaningful actions are unwavering.
You move forward into the future as a unique person.
The joining of past and future, birth and death is expressed in finding meaningful actions in the present. You have made the connection between past, present, and future.
Life as you experience it has a meaningful flow. The past, present, and future make a unified existence. Your life is spread ACROSS time!
Remember: Time is so powerful it is given to us only in small quantities!
Also published on Medium.
Hi Dave. Easier said than done, although you have made me think. Enjoyed your book by the way.
Somehow, in desperation, I found your blog this morning and found it the perfect antidote to my depression and fear as I face age 70 in two weeks. I was wringing my hands over not achieving my dreams and running out of time.(Could it be I’ve outgrown those old dreams). I agree with you on practically everything, You can check out my blog at http://www.deludeddiva.com but you’ll soon discover I’ve lost my enthusiasm for it. In the 10 years I’ve been writing it, I went from daily posts to week, to monthly. I’ve only read a couple of your posts but plan to review more. Thank you!
Thoughtful blog. Another way of saying we live in the “NOW”. This moment. The past is a memory. The future a dream. we only have this moment. Make it count!
One more thought to back up your premise on living well. I didn’t really live until four years ago when I as diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. I now make better choices since I was reminded that I have an expiration date.