A fulfilled life is when you live large and experiment with everything before you die — Actually, this is the greatest hoax of human existence. Think about death often and see how fulfilled your life routine turns out to be. Death is inevitable and thinking about it should be too.
Death is possibly the only inevitable event in life. Everyone and everything that lives will eventually die.
However, most of us refuse to allow our thoughts to contemplate for too long our own mortality — which is, actually, a mistake.
The modern world has a role to play in how human life is perceived, because technological advancement has shifted our focus from what death means (or should mean) for us, to making the most out of our time on Earth. Which basically translates into doing stupid things and living shallow lives.
Today, more than any other time in history, humans are being consumed by living in a constant rush to earn and consume, whilst searching for shallow, instant, gratification.
Being caught up in the rat race and living life at full speed leaves little room for introspection, philosophical debates or searching for the meaning of our existence.
Now, more than ever, we hear mature people say with regret that life has rushed by them in a heartbeat.
Instead of enjoying life from the passenger’s seat, which would give us time to travel, relax, marvel at its beauty and, eventually, contemplate on its purpose and deeper meaning (as the ancient philosophers did), we take on life head-on from the pilot’s seat, fighting to earn as many — useless — achievements as possible, whilst rushing towards the finish line — our own death.
Surround yourself with meaningful people
The first change you should make towards living a meaningful life, is choosing your friends with care.
Why would you want to spend the limited time you have left on Earth, with people whose only purpose is to drain the good out of you? What meaningful lesson could you possibly learn from them, other than being careful not to end up like them?!
And it is only by appreciating the dynamic shift that death holds, that we can become vigilant in making our lives worthwhile.
Life is much more than a road to death. It is a great chance to grow intellectually and spiritually.
Young souls live their lives “on the edge,” in a constant rush and doing one absurd thing after another — that’s the only way they can feel alive, because they don’t understand what precious life is and they have no idea how to live it in a meaningful way.
And, because we are surrounded by so many young souls who are constantly chasing the next big (i.e. meaningless) prize, we may feel the urge to try and live like them ourselves.
This is why it is important to become friends with people who actually understand life and place great value on it, instead of those who value material stuff or personal achievements more than life — which is exactly why they are constantly risking it in the process of achieving their egotistical goals.
What if the secret to leading a fulfilled life lies in the ability to think of death as a pathway to happiness?
Think of death as a chance to assess your values system so that the time you have left is invested, rather than spent.
You can do that by taking the time to learn more, then sharing your knowledge with the world (writing a book is a good example of enriching the lives of others with your knowledge), looking out for the well-being of your loved ones, planting trees, or dedicating yourself to a noble cause.
It is often said that fulfillment comes from sharing yourself with others. Is this not what we all should seek out in life?
Being aware of our own mortality can make us more responsible, cautious and wise. It can also trigger the desire to leave something meaningful for posterity.
What parent does not want for their children to live a life of great value a leave some kind of a legacy to the world? If that’s what you want for your children, then why not living the same life yourself? This way you will have your own legacy to leave to the world and your children will have a noble example to follow.
So, instead of chasing meaningless titles or material things, instead of dedicate your short life to yourself and to your hungry ego, why not simply dedicate it to posterity? Why not ditching your ego entirely and start living a new, selfless, life instead?
Believe it or not, the rewards will start coming very soon. They will not be titles and diplomas that you can hung on your wall, neither material stuff that you can put in a safe, but, somehow, these rewards will be more meaningful and will bring you more joy than all of the shallow things combined.
These rewards can be:
- “spending” quality time with your loved ones and building a solid moral foundation on which your child can build their lives upon (basically investing time in your children’s future);
- starting a non-profit organization;
- dedicate your life to the betterment of others (less fortunate people or endangered animals);
- planting a forest, one tree at a time;
- writing a book — or a dozen;
- reading those books that you have always wanted to read;
- travel more and learn about the history and culture of the world;
- become that resourceful engineer or brilliant architect that you have always wished to become;
And the list can go on and on…
Everyone, regardless of their age and occupation, can decide to start living a meaningful life. Just follow your heart’s higher calling without hesitation!