growth

10 Cathartic Quotes About Death to Really Improve Your Life Today

6 min read
Death.It is supposed to be “the enemy”. The one you have to defeat.Life taught me there’s no need to have enemies. They consume your time, your energy, your life. All of your power.No. No enemies needed, dear friend.This article may sound sinister at the beginning, creepy, or even negative, but it’s just the opposite. I’m a positive guy because positivism is the only way to live a life of joy, fulfillment, and happiness, as you can find out in these 5 scientific studies that prove the power of positive thinking.I studied death to learn about life. David San Filippo, Ph.D. at National Louis University, synthesizes very well how the concept of death and dying has evolved throughout Human History in his study” Historical Perspectives on Attitudes concerning Death and Dying”. You can get an excellent bird’s eye view on it about the topic.I concluded something: let’s stop saying death is an enemy. Your enemy.2 reasons to conclude this:
  1. It’s stupid to say so because it will always beat you, so… why should you fight against something that will always win?
  2. It’s ridiculous to worry about something you cannot control. Just let it go. Don’t waste your time.
You’re cleverer than that.
  • Do you want to get rid of stress, anxiety, or depression?
  • Do you want to make the best out of your time?
  • Do you want to improve, becoming a better version of yourself?
Here, I will share with you 10 quotes about death that will teach you 4 lessons to improve your life for the better.Let’s dive in!

Aren’t you curious to know what death is all about?

“Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.” — Haruki Murakami

This is the first step for everything in life: acceptance.As Mike Robbins says in this Huffpost article, “acceptance is not resignation, failure, or agreement; it’s simply telling the truth and allowing things to be as they are”.We have to accept life as it is. The moment we do so is when we feel free, released, liberated.Your life is based on stages. Death is just another one.That gives your brain the possibility to see things “at the same level”. Nothing’s the most important thing. They’re all in the same dimension.This way of thinking takes your pressure off. Your life becomes better the moment you accept this fact.

“Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not.” — Epicurus

This quote continues the previous thought.The more you take pressure off yourself, the better your life will be.Thinking death will never “catch you” because “you won’t be there when it comes” is an easy way to understand there’s no need to suffer. You escape from concerns. No worries. No sadness.Just take the best of your current state: living.

“Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.” — Lao Tzu

You can frame everything in life from a positive perspective.
”Amor Fati – ‘Love Your Fate’, which is in fact your life.”— Friedrich Nietzsche
It’s something you can learn, like David Kirkpatrick, the famous American film producer, explains in this brilliant article, “How to Build Your Positive Framing Muscle” .

Why do you have to be smarter than death?

“Death smiles at us all, all a man can do is smile back.” — Marcus Aurelius (in the movie “Gladiator”)

This quote is unclear if Marcus Aurelius ever actually said it, but it contains a deep thought.When things are unavoidable, you cannot do anything but look at it and smile (accept it).Don’t complain. Don’t say it’s unfair. Don’t be afraid.Again, acceptance is the best tool to overcome the situation.

“Death is certain. Life is uncertain.” — Gautama Buddha

It exists a more humorous version thanks to the talented Benjamin Franklin:
”In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”— Benjamin Franklin
As you can see, in all of them, the basic concept is exactly the same: don’t fight against something that is 100% certain.Try not to waste energy on certain things. Use your energy on the things that are worth doing. Those that you can change with your behavior, your skills, your time, or your actions. Those where your energy will be useful.

Don’t you want to improve your life?

Lesson 1:” Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” — Norman Cousins

Cousins nailed it in here!Read it carefully because there’s much more you can take with you from this quote than you may think.Forget about death and think of all those “small deaths” you live within your life.
  • Are you usually in a bad mood?
  • Are you losing self-confidence?
  • Are you usually sad?
  • Aren’t you enjoying your life to the fullest?
  • Are you not excited about your projects or your future?
Maybe you’re “dying” little by little.You are “old” when you talk more about the past than the future.Think of your present. Think of what your life is like.Are you not aware that every day you’re one day closer to your death?Lesson to improve your life: avoid behaviors and feelings that don’t benefit you at all.

Lesson 2:” We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” — Chuck Palahniuk

Death can give a lot of meaning to your life. One can be this.Why don’t you think about things that can last over time?Don’t you just think about “deliverables” such as a book, a sculpture, or a painting.Think beyond.
  • How can you last in your kids forever? Maybe with your behavior? Good pieces of advice? Giving them all the love you got every day?
  • How can you last in the people that surround you? Being nicer, becoming a better listener, helping them…?
I highly recommend you try this Stephen Covey’s experiment in which you will visit your own funeral. I’m sure you will draw some interesting conclusions after it.Lesson to improve your life: do and behave today to be remembered forever.

Lesson 3: “The fear of death follows from a fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” — Mark Twain

What would you do today if you were going to die tomorrow?This dramatic scenario will show you:
  • Your deficiencies.
  • Things you want to do.
  • Things you want to improve.
  • Things you want to avoid.
Thinking deeply about this situation will tell you a lot of info. Data you can use to improve, to be a better self, to grow.You should look for a point in which nothing matters if you die tomorrow. You feel satisfied. Emptiness is not part of your life. Your life is fulfilled.Lesson to improve your life: live today as if you will die tomorrow. Remove regret.

Lesson 4:” Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” — Elbert Hubbard

I’m pretty sure you suffer in many situations.Situations you see like “the end of the world”.Have you ever compared them with death?Are they really so important?
  • That discussion with your partner.
  • That client who told you you were a disaster.
  • That delayed flight.
  • That driver who took away your parking spot.
Are all those scenarios critical, essential in your life?Everything seems stupid compared to death. Because it is.Lesson to improve your life: Downplay the importance of today’s things. Compare any current situation with death.

Takeaways

”Death is so sure of its victory, it gives an entire life time as an advantage.”— Dan Mitchell
You can see that even negative things always have a positive perspective.Even your darkest, the worst, your most feared scenario, death, can lead you towards a much better life.Look carefully at these 4 lessons you can easily implement today:
  1. Avoid behaviors and feelings that don’t benefit you at all. Don’t “die” a little bit every day.
  2. Do and behave today to be remembered forever. Think how you would like to be remembered.
  3. Live today as if you will die tomorrow. Completely remove regret from your life.
  4. Downplay the importance of today’s things. Compare any current situation to death.
Don’t wait any longer. Start today.You will:
  • Feel better.
  • Improve.
  • Take the best out of your time.
  • Become a better version of yourself.
Let’s make this happen. Now!Photo at the top courtesy of NeONBRAND on Unsplash.