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Never Live Like You’d Die Tomorrow

Pop psychology is full of pithy seize the day quotes. The purpose of life is to live it, to taste each experience to the utmost. Memento mori. Live like you would die tomorrow.

If I knew I’d die tomorrow, I’d spend the day playing video games, bingeing on chocolates, and wailing that life wasn’t fair.

If I lived this way every day, I’d get obese, depressed, and likely would die tomorrow.

Pithy quotes have their place, mainly in giving you a short motivational boost when you desperately need it. They’re like a dextrose tablet when running a marathon – a bit of quick sugar to keep your legs pumping when you’d most of all would like to lie down on the curb and give up. As such, seizing the day is a good thing.

Its a very, very bad thing when considering consequences. Perhaps there are people who can live like there was no tomorrow and still be their best selves. Like Gandhi, who said the whole thing about living like you’d die tomorrow.

Although he did amend that with the sentence that one should learn as if one would live forever, which most memes forget.

Either way, it’s better to live as if you’d die ten years from now.

Ten years is enough to put the fear of death into you. Or if it isn’t, shorten that time span to five years, or two years. The trick is to imagine having enough time left that you can accomplish something worthwhile.

If you had only ten years left to live, what would you do? Write a novel? Save up for your child’s college fund? Develop yourself spiritually?

Be a better person?

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