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Today we are talking about the fact that we are all going to die, and why that's a good thing.
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Memento Mori, and Nobody Cares
Memento Mori is a Latin term which translates roughly to, "remember that you will die." This may seem like a rather morbid way to open this week's newsletter, but it's actually an incredible concept with the ability to empower every single one of you. If you remember that you are destined to die, to leave this world, then it gives that much more meaning to every breath you take while alive. Even the smallest, most insignificant moments have more meaning in this context.
It's a classic Stoic philosophy to ponder one's fate, to realize that all paths lead to death eventually. For the Stoics, this allowed them to accept whatever life gave them and make the best of each situation. Bad things will happen, most situations won't quite work out, but if you keep a level head and navigate each moment then you are better-equipped to weather the storm.
While powerful enough on its own, this concept was amplified for me when Naval described modern life as a "single-player game" in which no one else cares about you or what you're doing.
This isn't to say that you aren't loved by your family and friends, and it doesn't mean that your contributions are worthless. Instead, Naval is describing the true freedom we have to enjoy life and find our own meaning. Every time we think people are paying attention to us, they're probably not. We're all just trying to navigate our own paths, and realizing this fact gives us the freedom to be who we truly want to be.
Live life authentically, because you only get one and it will eventually come to an end. Why spend any time on this Earth unhappy, doing something we hate, for reasons that really don't matter? Make life your own game, go after the pursuits that you enjoy, make wonderful memories with even better people. We're all going to die and memories of us will fade, so make the most out of every breath you take while alive!
The most interesting things I've read, heard, or encountered this week:
An introduction to Stoicism: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (this specific translation is the only one that has been routinely recommended to me)
Stoic philosophy is incredibly interesting and relevant in the modern world. After a stressful couple years dealing with the COVID pandemic, it can become difficult to feel like we have any control over our lives. Marcus Aurelius was a true leader well-versed in weathering hardship. This primer on Stoicism is a great tool to have in your toolbox!
Dive deeper: The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
I've recommended Ryan Holiday in the past, but this is a solid daily workbook of sorts for embarking on a journey of Stoicism. It also happens to be on sale for only $1.99 for the Kindle version right now. This book is a great way to get your hands dirty.
What I'm listening to: Rich Roll on the Tim Ferris show
I listened to this podcast episode on a recent drive up to Vermont, and was blown away by Rich Roll's candor with regard to his alcoholism. While the entire episode doesn't revolve around addiction and recovery, it does a great job of explaining how some of the core principles in recovery are just as applicable to habit change. Some of these concepts may help you with goals you've set in the new year.
What I'm watching: Alabama's playoff mindset (YouTube)
I love hearing about how high-performance teams continue to operate at a high level, and the decisions they make that contribute to this performance. I'm not a diehard Alabama football fan, but there is no doubt that the program they've built is incredible. This video gives a brief look into some of the preparations they are making towards the end of the season.
A thread on success: Codie Sanchez on Twitter
This is an interesting thread born from a late-night conversation. Codie's friend is an (almost) billionaire, and she spent some time asking him how he experienced so much financial success. While many of these threads contain common themes, I thought there were some useful nuggets in this one.
That will do it for this week! Please let me know what you liked, didn't like, and what you want to see more of. Do you want it to be longer, shorter? Do you want specific topics covered more? Less? Have a wonderful week, and remember to please forward this to your friends -- helping get the word out and get more eyes on this newsletter is hugely helpful and greatly appreciated!
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