Our days are numbered. Literally. According to the OECD, the average person lives 79 years. U.S. men on average live 76 years and U.S women live 81 years. Now of course there are factors that play a huge role in life expectancy like health awareness, poverty, education, environment, stress and much more. However, this is not an article about statistics and I will not be informing you about life expectancy and all that it entails. This is an article about how death can perhaps inspire us all to live better lives.
The cliche, “Life is too short” is something I’m sure many of us have heard throughout our lifetime. I’ve never been too fond of this expression and I would much rather think, and I do think life is precious and we should live it as so.
I’ve had the pleasure of watching the Marvel superhero movie, Dr. Strange not very long ago. There is a moment in the movie when Dr. Strange is having a conversation with the Ancient One right before she dies. In this moment, she talks about how death gives meaning to our lives. This was a powerful moment in the movie and has resonated with me many days after viewing the movie. In fact, it is the reason I’ve chosen to write about the idea of death and how it could change our perspective and maybe be the catalyst to begin living a better life.
In thinking about death, initially, for me, it is horrifying. Like that’s it!? We’re done? We will no longer be a presence on this planet as we know thus far anyway. As I marinate on this thought, I also become inspired to make the most out of my days left here on this beautiful planet.
I’ve recently hit the 40 year mark in life. This means that I’ve already lived a little over 14,600 days. If I go by the data I’ve mentioned above, I have 14,235 more days on this planet (Hope it’s more of course).
The idea that my days are numbered is quite humbling. It grounds me in the now. It reminds of how precious life is. It inspires me to live better. It inspires me to complain less and appreciate more. It inspires me to forge ahead to live as authentically as possible. It inspires me to search for my own truths and release the beliefs that no longer serve my well being. It inspires me to embrace and deliver kindness more than I ever have.
It inspires me to judge less and engage more with compassion for others. It has inspired me to leave the flock of sheep behind and set out on my own journey to live in my zone of genius. It has inspired me to wear the hats I wear now better than I ever have before. It inspires me to love BIGGER.
Many of us know that there are aspects of life that are completely out of our control. Many of us have to deal with health issues, setbacks and so on. Much of this we can’t control. What we can control, however, is how we choose to respond to these uncontrollable aspects of life. What we can control is how we choose to think in every waking moment. The idea of death has lead me to think better thoughts. Maybe it can do the same for you.
Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes out of your day to figure out how many days left you have on this planet. Of course it will be an estimate because we don’t know the exact date of our expiration. And it might be sort of scary for you as it was in the beginning for me. When you arrive at your estimate, take another moment to ask yourself what you would like the rest of those days to look like and act on it. BREATHE.
I’m hoping it will inspire you as it did me. I’m hoping it will inspire you to turn over a new leaf if that is what you desire.
In all honesty, I believe life gives life meaning. The idea that our days are numbered, however, in my experience, has become somewhat of a companion and has inspired me to live the rest of my days as wonderful as possible. Perhaps it can do the same for all of us.