Leaving this here for posterity:
“Dying isn’t as sad as Not living.”
—Valentin Viennot, 2023
I know; death is a sad and probably not the most exciting topic for a post. But you needed to read it. In fact, this post is more about life than death. It’s more of a wake-up call, an invitation even.
I’m a firm believer that our life choices are investments that shape the value and meaning we extract from life itself. Yes, we’re all going to die; get over it. But surely, you don’t want to leave this world with a life unlived. There’s no perfect time to start investing it wisely and bravely.
Also, remember it’s all about what you aim to achieve. Some equate “living life fully” with experiencing intense physical sensations. Some find fulfilment in helping others or creating something new. What’s undeniable is that a life lived fully requires taking risks. Why? Because ambitious investment inherently involves risk.
What’s your mission?
It might sound like a pretty naive question—after all, our existence is quite random. But hold that thought. Now that you’re part of a somewhat orderly society, free from the primal instinct of survival, how do you plan to spend your time?
We are all born billionaires: Time billionaires. About 2.5 billion seconds. And somehow, I believe we each have a mission. Something meaningful we yearn to accomplish with that time.
For me, I distilled my mission into the following statement: “To increase human intelligence, both individual and collective, while ensuring my happiness and those of others around me.”
As documented by Viktor E. Frankl, our primary motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life. Ultimately, an individual’s specific mission or purpose in life is unique to them; and discovering it can happen differently. Through great work or encountering someone. As Frankl put it, “Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognise that it is he who is asked.” That’s what keeps us going.
You might be thinking, “Well, I can’t just backpack around the world or quit my job to write a novel. I’ve got responsibilities!”. And I get that. We all do. But remember, it doesn’t require big changes. Helping your child with their homework or even just taking a moment to breathe —that’s living, assuming you put meaning into it.
So, are you living? Why are you doing this thing you’re doing? Or rather, why aren’t you doing what you’re not doing but wish you were?
Let’s live. It’s your time.