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  • Writer's pictureWarrick

It all begins with death

How thinking about death is the key to our personal development

Hello fellow Protagonists

If there was one concept to contemplate and come to terms with for the greatest development in self, it would be on the reality of death.

Everything we do is based around our life and we cannot focus on our life without it's opposite. One must exist for the other to exist. It is impossible to focus on one and ignore the other.

We could go as far as to say that we owe life to death. That life and death are constant in the bigger picture of the universe but for us personally death is the constant with a period of our individual life sprouting out of this eternity for a relatively short period of time.

When someone says "You are on borrowed time" - What or who are we borrowing this time from? precisely, from death.

Before we go on, death can be an awkward and uncomfortable realisation to uncover and many avoid the topic altogether. This may be the case though It is often in the most challenging situations where the greatest personal progressions are made.

Maybe the ultimate progression.

Death is the beginning as it is death that influences us to contemplate all other concepts. If we lived forever would we really contemplate meaning and purpose? Perhaps not as we would have eternity to figure that out. There would be no sense of urgency.

We consider meaning because we realise we have a unknown amount of time in the world and so wonder what it is we are here to do within that time.

Pretty much everything can be linked back to the concept, or more specifically, the fear of death. Another way of wording this could also be to flip this around and say the acquisition of immortality.

The question is whether immortality can be achieved at all, and if so is this through the impermanent external, material world or something arguably more permanent like the collective soul?

Death is such a gargantuan topic that all other actions, beliefs, emotions, guidance and development shrinks as it's comparison. All of these fall under the umbrella of life, and therefore death.

What if instead of focusing on so many separate areas of life like profession, weight loss, finance, relationships, meaning and purpose, we decided to get to the root of all of this tomfoolery.

What if we started from death and then branched outwards once we have come to terms with this inevitability.

I am around 1609 weeks of age as I write this post. If I was given a divine warning from death that I was to die today I may ask for one more week. One week to sort out any of my unfinished business. The truth is that I have had 1609 of those weeks to achieve this, what is 1 more week going to do.

Why am I waiting for death's call before completing my business? That is like waiting for race day to start training.

Lets say that we finally accept that we could die at any moment, that each breath in could be the last.

Are we still as worried about losing our job, or are we now more concerned about being in a job that we don't want in the first place?

Are we still aiming for that bigger house, or are we starting to sound like Pharaohs who wanted that big old pyramid in order to attempt to defy death?

Do we continue to care about the negative comments of other people if that could be our last thoughts? Not of those we honestly care about but instead on some stranger I couldn't pick out of a crowd even if I tried.

Session 1 of The Daily Buff's personal finance programme would begin with death and nothing to do with money. Only after that has been exposed, then we can think about the far more important financial priorities afterwards, such as which subscriptions we feel we can't live without, and why we get upset if we don't get to eat out more than once a week.

Starting to see the truth of the matter?

After death, all else shrinks to what it really is.

Lets end this post by emphasising the point that death is not used as a tool to induce fear, we do that by not focusing on death. We are afraid of what we do not understand.

By ignoring death you fear it more. Protecting ourselves from problems causes those very problems to exist.

"Nothing is more creative than death, since it has the whole secret of life. It means that the past must be abandoned, that the unknown cannot be avoided, that "I" cannot continue, and that nothing is ultimately fixed. When a man knows this, he lives for the first time in his life. By holding his breath, he loses it. By letting go he finds it." - Alan Watts

GLHF (Good Luck Have Fun)


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