I’ve gotten my hands around one of the most popular Stoic books to come out in the last 5 years, “The Obstacle Is The Way” by Ryan Holiday.
I enjoy reading his modern take on the ancient Stoic wisdom. Moreover, he writes in short sentences and keeps it free from bullshit making the reading experience a breeze.
Today, I wanted to share one of my favorite parts towards the end. It’s on the topic of death.
Most of us look at death as a source of disappointment, despair and discouragement. We want to pretend that we live forever and walk around spending hours on meaningless activities.
In the book, Ryan talks about a phrase “Memento Mori” which the Romans used to use to remind themselves that we are mortal.
The topic of death can be paralyzing to many. But if you choose to view it differently, it can be an amazing reminder to constantly prioritize life and bring urgency into it.
As I was reading through those pages, I couldn’t help but remind myself of the famous Steve Jobs’ anecdote. Apparently, every once in a while, Steve would look at himself in the mirror at the beginning of the day and ask himself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I be doing the things I am about to do?”
It’s such a kick in the nuts to laziness, irresponsible attitude towards life and a lack of gratitude. Before we know, all of what we have could be taken away from us. So use that wisdom as a way to be less attached to trivial sh*t that doesn’t matter, focus on things that truly mean something to you whether it is people, your passion or your work.