Learn to Die and You Learn to Live.
This concept has got a lot of us startled wondering what should precede the other. We may well be aware that we first live and then die yet for us to live fully within the time we are granted in this world, we must first learn to die.
A few years ago, I wrote on this very blog how to build businesses that outlive us. After some research on the companies that have stayed for ages now such as PnG, Coca-Cola, Ford, among several others, I concluded that the founders looked at their enterprises one hundred years ahead of their time.
If you would love to learn about these companies, grab yourself a copy of Built to Last; Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jerry Porras and Jim Collins. A few concepts from the book can help broaden your thoughts on today’s topic.
While reading the book Who Will Cry When You Die by Robin Sharma, I came across the quote from which I borrowed the topic of my article today. It was from Morrie Schwartz in which he remarked, “The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”
I quickly pondered on the sense in the statement and it didn’t take me long to get it. I will begin by posing some questions to all of you my dear readers. When you die, who will cry that you are gone? How many people will cry? Who and how many people will care that you are gone?
On a second level, what legacy do you intend to leave behind? How many people do you hope to have inspired by the time you die? How many lives could you wish to have touched by your kind acts when the clock of your life stops to tick? How will you want to be remembered?
If you take your time and answer these questions, then you will realize you true state at this moment and evaluate yourself whether you are living or merely existing. No wonder someone said that it is not a matter of the years we have lived, rather the life in the years.
To learn to live your life means to live a life filled with gratitude and gratefulness and appreciation for our loved ones. It is about the tiny moments that we sacrifice to be present for others. It is a life lived in the pursuit of things that make meaning to our lives and ones that align with our purpose for being alive in such times as these.
This is a life that one makes a conscious choice to live each and every single day. Todays’ world is so fast paced that we often forget to notice the guy who cleans the office or the lady who serves us tea. It is worth it though to smile at them and letting them know that you appreciate their service.
It is not enough to send money to the friend who is grieving. It calls that you visit and mourn with them because the warmth our presence may bring to them in such distress times cannot be offered by the money, one which we send most of the time.
Learning to live is sparing that cherished moment of self to spend time with your children and reading them a story during bed time. It is putting up with their nagging and awkward moments when you go out with them and they decide to plunge themselves in the dirt.
Living life fully is understanding others and speaking kindly of and to them. Live the biblical principle of doing unto others what you would want done unto you. Take a moment and open the door for the guy who comes behind you and take a moment to help that old lady cross the road even if you are in hurry.
After all, it is the small things that matter to us and mostly the ones that occupy the largest part of our lives. Be in the present, envision the life you want to live in this very moment. It is true that you have not achieved the level of success you want.
It is true still that you are struggling to reach that level of financial freedom that you desire but while you look at achieving those as your key goals, don’t let them make you lose sight of the aspect of true living that you may desire which is being in service for other at the present.
Learning to die is taking a moment and looking at yourself lying still in that coffin years or days to come and taking a moment to look around at how people could have been impacted by your life. See if anybody will be feeling any void left around by your death.
If you are able to see someone impacted by your death, begin to live such that it won’t be one person alone but rather as many people as you would wish to. Make sure people are touched by your living today for that post life inspiration to be felt.
Learn to die and you would have learnt to live.