It’s very simple. You waste your life one moment at a time.
The game is rigged in many ways. Time is slowly and incessantly flowing forward without really letting us know. We’ve manufactured clocks and wristwatches to keep reminding ourselves of this fact, but humans have been designed to not really give a shit. All too often we ignore the signs and presume that we’re immortal and go about living our lives that way, making immortality decisions and adopting immortality personas which don’t really work, only to wake up in a few years and realize how badly we messed up.
Because we aren’t immortal. The one simple fact of the game is that we’re all hurtling towards no-life, towards death, whether we choose to realize it or not. Regardless of what you believe happens after.
This is what Steve Jobs said on the matter in his famous Stanford commencement speech:
“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”
“Because 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.”
Every morning when I wake up I remind myself that I will die. Maybe in a decade, maybe in a year, maybe today. And I keep returning to this basic truth as the day progresses.
Morbid? Sure. Fact? Fucks yes.
Try it yourself. See if this simple idea doesn’t change your priorities about how to spend your day.
Petty shit is kept in perspective, nonsense is sidelined, you tend to focus wholeheartedly on what matters most to you.
You will start to understand that life is a series of moments, and those moments are finite. Not only that, but those moments are irreversible; you can’t experience the exact same moment twice.
So really, in this unfair game, you only get one-shots, over and over, often when you are unprepared, to try and make these moments count. And each moment that you let go without milking it for everything it’s worth is a moment lost, never to return.
Waste enough of these moments and you waste your life.
Which might just be the greatest sin of them all.