It seems like all my peers have this idea that being young is an excuse for not living a satisfying life.
But millennials are not the only group of people who hide behind excuses. We all do.
I get it. Taking on responsibilities in life is scary. It’s way cooler to have toast with avocado.
But you know what’s also cool?
- Building a meaningful career that you’re proud of.
- Contributing to other people’s lives.
- Creating a product or service that is useful.
- Investing your money for your retirement.
“Yeah, but I’m still young.”
“There’s always tomorrow!”
C’mon. Stop hiding! What are you waiting for?
To every one out there that doesn’t feel fulfilled, I have one idea that I want to share:
Start living like you’re immortal.
Yes, I know it sounds weird. So give me two minutes to explain.
Conventional wisdom says that life is not forever, right?
- “Life is short!”
- “Live now!”
And I agree with that as well.
But when you live your life according to that philosophy, it doesn’t make sense to do anything that takes a long time to pay off.
If you think that life is short, why on earth would you do hard things? It doesn’t make sense.
From that perspective, it’s better to spend your money, go out every week, drink as much as you can, and live large.
Ask yourself: “What does all that lead to?”
It doesn’t take a scientist to answer that question. The answer is, “nothing.”
Now, there’s also another perspective on living: That you’re here forever.
Think about it. How different would you live if I told you that you’re never going to die?
When I look at myself, I used to live as if I were mortal. I’d spend my money on clothes, gadgets, holidays. But I also seemed to be in a hurry. I wanted to achieve a lot of things in my life. And preferably, very fast.
I also pursued many things at the same time. Just like a dog. Chasing every shiny thing out there. Or even chasing my own random ideas.
But lately, I’ve adopted a different mindset. It’s an idea of, “What if I were immortal?”
I know, it sounds like I’m working on a hyperbolic chamber that promises eternal life. But trust me, I’m not that delusional.
I’m talking figuratively.
The first time I got this idea was when I read one of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations:
“Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what’s left and live properly.”
I’m particularly referring to the last part: Living properly. What does that mean?
I think everyone has a different perspective. To me, living properly means that I’m satisfied with my life. That I can look myself in the mirror, and genuinely say, “I like my life.”
Was I truly satisfied when I lived my life in the now? No, not really. I didn’t have a real career, or a house, or anything that I was proud of. And why was that? I was too focused on the now. I wanted things to happen fast.
“Before you know it, you’ll be dead!” Now, that mindset is fine to get started. Nothing works better than kicking someone in the butt by telling them they’re going to die.
But once you’re working on building a LIFE, it’s not helpful to think like that. Being present is a great thing, but like many things in life, don’t overdo it.
That’s why I like to live like I’m immortal. Because when you live forever…
- You have all the time in the world to build something.
- You can make mistakes and learn from them.
- There’s no pressure to make things happen fast.
- You treat people with respect because other people will also be around forever.
This small tweak in my mindset has helped me to take a different view on life. I’m not afraid to look 10 or 20 years ahead. That helps me to make better decisions TODAY.
For example, I’d rather save my money or invest it instead of spending it because I know that “future Darius” will benefit from that.
“But how about present Darius?”
Well, I talked about being satisfied, right? Odd enough, I’m more satisfied when I SAVE my money. Or when I eat healthy food or work out every day.
When I think about this idea, I find it fascinating how well it works.
We all know we’re going to die (I recently even wrote an article about it). That’s a good and bad thing.
- Good because it gives us urgency.
- Bad because we lose sight of the big picture.
How do you live? Like a mortal or immortal person?
Whatever it is, I hope you’re satisfied with your life. Because at the end of the day, that’s what matters most.