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Dealing with Mortality

Posted on Nov 21, 2013 by in Life Lessons | 1 comment

Dealing with mortality is never easy.  Doesn’t matter if it is human life or business life, seeing the end is difficult.  Guess what, it is coming.  Mortality is defined as a “state of being mortal” or susceptible to death.  I know I dressed up as Mr. Incredible for Halloween, but I am well aware of my own mortality.  It is a natural occurrence that as you age you start to be confronted with it more and more.  Why, honestly, time is not deaths friend, the more time you’re alive, the more death you will experience.  In the last week, haven’t you noticed I wasn’t blogging, I got pneumonia, and for a quick second, I thought ok, I might die (maybe that is a bit overstating it but it was bad).  I’ve also experienced a friend or family member losing someone almost every month this year.

Allen PIc

It got me thinking, how do you deal with mortality?  I think we all understand the following:

1.  We are going to go away someday, hopefully not soon, maybe soon, but certainly sometime.

2.  At various points during our journey we will question everything, every decision, that’s ok.

3.  At various points during our journey we will feel immortal, and make bad decisions, that’s ok too.

4.  To the best of my current knowledge we get one crack at this thing called life, but heck, maybe not.

So, dealing with mortality, what do you do?  I am not a big fan of just running around screaming YOLO (you only live once), candidly it seems to be air cover for, “I know I’m an a**hole, but YOLO”.  I am always saddened when I hear that someone has lost a family member, dear friend, or associate.  I always ask the same question, “did they live a full life?”  Guess what, surprisingly, the answer is normally “yes they did”.  Then I get to hear a story and that story is a positive memory that person had.  I enjoy that and view it as a learning opportunity.  I certainly hope that once I leave to go off to Super Hero Retirement that when someone asks, “did Allen live a full life”, everyone says, “absolutely, he dreamed big dreams, worked really hard, was always learning something new, and enjoyed the journey”.

1 Comment

  1. Death is difficult. We seem to swing between never wanting to think about it, or being overwhelmed by it and the grief and questions it brings. With a funeral director father-in-law, the topic comes up in our house more than most. I actually find it helpful, even empowering, to be reminded of the bigger picture on occasion. It helps me keep my day-to-day decisions in alignment with my bigger picture life priorities.

    Your post reminded me of Steve Jobs’ famous commencement speech (around 9m 24s):

    “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

    PS- you.. retire.. ?

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