This is kind of a dark essay, but it is not meant to be. It is a thought exercise, not a mood exercise. In thinking about motivation, many come to the conclusion that “death” is the ultimate motivator. I think that is assumed…but once we dig into it we may find ourselves asking:
Is death the ultimate fear?
I circle back to this quote from Steve Jobs:
“Remembering you are going to die is the best way to avoid the fear that you have something to lose.”
I always liked it. But then I have recently dug deeper into it and now am questioning my belief in this statement. Which brings me to a fairly unconventional statement: “Remembering we are going to die is a relief. It decreases urgency. It is a back-stop.”
I do like the idea of “you only live once.” But at the same time, I am conflicted because only living once is an excuse. It is an excuse to not try things. It is an excuse to fail. It is an excuse to give up.
This sounds harsh. This sounds cruel. But isn’t it kind of true? Death is like the relief…the end code. And our whole life is built up towards it.
When people turn 60, they see death coming. So they chill out…they stop working hard. They start doing other things.
A) Why does it take so long to do that?
B) Why do people stop/start living once they see death coming? Why is their a change in behavior?
These are broad, yet incredibly complicated topics that I have yet to really explore fully. But I know I will…