I’ve heard it said that amongst all creation – “Only humans know that they will die.” I don’t know who said it, but it always stuck on my mind. I began to contemplate the significance of not only knowing we will die, but the fact in and of itself that we will die. It may seem grim at first glance, but really it’s wonderfully profound. Religious people believe it’s because we have sinned. Personally, I don’t hold that belief, but that’s a whole new article. Scientists are baffled by our mortality, in large part because of our body’s amazing ability to rebuild and heal itself. Death is not a pleasant subject, but I believe that having some empowering beliefs about it can add greater meaning to our lives.
For a moment let’s consider unending life; what would that be like? With eternity ahead of us, what great accomplishments could there ever be? Would the pyramids have ever been built? Would we have ever gone to the moon? The Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, the Mona Lisa, the works of Picasso, Michaelangelo, and even Michael Jackson; would they exist if there was always tomorrow to get it done? Consider the philanthropy of so many powerful and wealthy people; would the gifts they have left, ever been given? The existence of our greatest institutions of learning was often made possible because of people wanting their name, reputation, hard work, and ideals to carry on beyond their lifetime. What if they could just put it off a millennium or two, how would that work out?
There’s the saying – “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” People who get things done know that deadlines are critical to accomplishment. Without an endpoint and a certain sense of urgency, procrastination takes over and puts off the completion of just about everything. Acquiring anything significant requires dedication and sacrifice. How many of us have scrimped and saved, and done without certain conveniences for a period of time to buy a house or new car? If we literally had forever, who would deny themselves anything in the short term, to get something in the future? After all there is always tomorrow right?
Many parents set aside money and resources they could use for their own enjoyment so that their children can have lives better than their own. Those children grow into adulthood and do the same for their own children,and this process repeats over and over in countries and cultures across the globe. Knowing we have a finite amount of time here on earth, causes many of us make maximum use of that time. Perhaps lives of any real significance would never exist were it not for the fact that we know we will die.
So now what? I believe that to know we have a limited time here is a blessing. We know that there is a finite amount of time for us to accomplish things that are important to us. Knowing that our end may come at any time gives us the opportunity to make now count. Focus is so important to quality life. You may wonder why; well here it is. There are a lot of things that can get in the way of progress, I’m sure you know that. The author Steven Covey in his book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” says – “Things which matter most, must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” He goes on to explain how “ineffective people” let “urgent things” crowd out “important things” or “things which matter most”. So if we can learn to focus more of our time on important things rather than those things that are always nipping at our heels, that by itself will improve the quality of our lives.
If not at a conscious level, then at some lower level, people who live productive and meaningful lives don’t let their day get cluttered with nuisance concerns like: phone calls that can be handled by someone else, petty arguments, watching the latest reality TV show, or whatever. Now…it’s not that urgent things shouldn’t be done, it’s that you shouldn’t waste huge blocks of time doing them. Many of the urgent type things that clamor for our attention, can often be delegated to someone else. Or, we can block out a certain time of day to handle these things and then open up the biggest part of our day for things that will impact the quality of our lives for the good.
The reason I bring up how we handle the “chores” of our lives, is because we don’t have forever to create the kind of life that will be memorable and meaningful. Each and every one of us has the chance to make of ourselves whatever we want. Our potential is limited only by our beliefs and imagination. It’s so easy to get caught in our routine that we’ve maintained for a long time. The problem with that is if we don’t pay attention to the passage of time, years can go by without us going after the things that are important to us.
I do understand that thinking about death is not pleasant. However thinking about life, and what we can accomplish with our lives, is awesome. I have no way of proving it, but I think that God created us to live only a limited period of time, so that we would make the most of our lives. I think that to live forever would almost certainly guarantee mediocrity. What my wish is for you is that you will be sharply aware that time is passing, and with it the chance to manifest your most amazing dreams. I hope that your awareness that your time here on this earth is limited will create the fire in you to live a super life every day that you are here with us.
Stay Fly and Fly High!
I believe I was put here on this earth to teach people how to live bigger, better, and more awesome lives. I am not always right but I always have something to say…and I am here to say it. I want to change the world, and I know that I can with a little help from my friends. So, I created The MInd of KLH blog to inform and spark the imagination of anyone desiring a world full of possibilities realized.One Love...Really!
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