(Death! Death! Death!)
When I was a kid, I would think about life after death while in bed. This gave me extreme stress since I was just thinking about the unknown. I mean, who in this world can give you definite answers about the afterlife?
Being a fanatic about history of warfare, I begun to dig deeper to find out how do soldiers find the strength to charge into certain death. The answer has never been simpler. Simply accept that you will die. For samurais, who seemed to have no qualms committing seppuku, they find glory in death. In the Hagakure,
“The Way of the warrior (Bushido) is to be found in dying. If one is faced with two options of life or death, simply settle for death.”
Sounds a bit extreme doesn’t it? Well, of course I’m not telling you to jump into a car’s path. Reading on,
“If you miss the mark and you live to tell the tale, then you are a coward. This is a perilous way of thinking. If you make a mistake and die in the process, you may be thought of as mad (kichigai), but it will not bring shame.”
This tells a better story. Basically, chase our dreams and leave a mark in this world. Do not live a life that you do not wish to live. Steve Jobs seemed to agree too,
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.
Almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”