When it comes to talking about life, almost everything goes. When it comes to death, people become quiet. I believe one of the most wonderful and powerful things you can do is to talk about death before it happens. It’s your final journey and you alone should determine the sights, sounds and surroundings. Talking about death releases you from the shackles of society, treating death as something nobody should talk about and we should hide from.
Watch the video of this amazing man. He understands that there’s no reason to wait until the final breath to realize and share with others what we have, what we love, what we desire.
Death will happen to us all. You decide how to deal with it.
We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. – Charles R. Swindoll
Just because you can’t bear reality, doesn’t mean you should argue with it. Just think about our existence in this universe. We were born billions of years after it started to exist, and we will be dead and long forgotten before it ends. The conditions that allowed us to live this amazing life were created in a distant past beyond our comprehension through forces we can’t measure and understand. The sooner we accept these facts and come to terms with it, the sooner we may be able to live a proper life with a healthy perspective.
That doesn’t mean life is meaningless or without a purpose. It means humanity only counts in the immediate present. Your opinion. Your objections. They have no effect. Nobody keeps a giant Kindle filled with that record. What you have is in front of you. What you have is what happens.
That’s all you got. That’s all you control. Focus on that.
I’m not particularly good at running. I don’t have a great stride, I never developed a good technique. Just like Forrest Gump, one day I just started to run. Running was not in my blood. I played soccer for years, tennis, squash and loved to ride my bike. Running was always a necessary evil, not something I enjoyed. As your life gets busier, playing all these sports required too much preparation. Running is different. I can just grab my sneakers, leave the house and run away. No preparation. No equipment. Just run. So I did.
Running teaches you to focus on yourself. There are always other runners who are faster. And many who are slower. What counts is finding your own pace. The pace that challenges you and, at the same time, makes you come back for another run next day. In our competitive world, we tend to focus too much on others. Instead, we should focus more on our strengths, find our own pace, our own zone. That’s the place where we belong.
Running teaches you to challenge all the old rules and set lofty goals. For years, I ran around 4-5 miles daily. Decent pace, nothing extraordinary. I couldn’t fathom running 10 miles or even a marathon. One day, for no particular reason, I decided to run 15 miles. Same pace, three times the distance. And I succeeded. Three months later I was running my first marathon. We tend to believe in our own devil’s advocate, reminding us of our limitations constantly. The outside world doesn’t help because they love to put things in boxes, remind us not to get too big for our bridges and basically transfer their own limitations to us. Sure, it might have been better to gradually ease into 15 miles by adding 1 mile each week. Sometimes that doesn’t work. Sometimes you just have to go for it and try to achieve something unattainable.
Last but not least, running taught me be more in the moment. When you run a marathon, you dream of the finish line. You dream of the moment when you don’t have to run anymore, where the bathtub is waiting for you, a bed. But focusing on the finish line takes away from the moments: little kids handing you orange pieces, people cheering you on, helping somebody through a cramp, working through the pains and aches, the knowing smile of a fellow runner. Looking back, I don’t remember the finish line moment. But I do remember those little moments. And what is life besides a collection of those little, precious moments?