Why thinking about death is the best way to live life

Don’t live your life afraid of death. Never live a life premised on fear.

Instead, use death as a measure of your life. Use death to ask, “Are you living your best life, right now?”

Meditating on death can become a profound form of personal power.

Thinking about death motivates a person to ask if she is living her best life. If you knew you were going to die imminently, what would you say about your life? Would you be happy with where you are now? Is there unfinished business you need to attend to? Were there things you regretted doing or saying? Would you want to do the tasks you have to do that day?

The answers to these questions might be unpleasant to think through. Too many of us wake up and engage in the same terrible habits, engage with the same terrible people, work the same terrible job, and have the same terrible worries. We put up with it, because we think we will live forever.

But that’s entirely false. We don’t live forever. And in fact, we could die at any moment.

Life your life so that every day, every moment, is a reflection of your best self. If you died that moment, you could pass, knowing that you were doing something you loved, that your things were mostly in order, that there was nothing unfinished you had to say or to do.

The phrase I use for this is, “Die a good death.” What is a good death? A good death is the ability to lie on your deathbed, knowing that you did exactly what it was you were here to do; that you give everything your best effort; that there was nothing left unsaid to any one; and that your affairs were enough in order not to cause anyone harm after you leave.

Don’t wait for tomorrow to life your best life. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Live your life today. Live your life so that you can die a good death.