Morbid Motivation: How I Use Death To Inspire Me To Live My Greatest Life
“I am not afraid to die..
Push me to the edge,
All my friends are dead…”
The infectious chorus from Lil Uzi Vert’s morose song XO Tour Lif3 echoes in the background as I write this article.
From Candy Chang’s 2011 Before I Die instillation to Ivan Kramskoi’s 1884 masterpiece Inconsolable Grief, artists have consistently approached death with a fearless spirit that’s allowed them to create work that has drawn in millions of observers. Even today, Lil Uzi Vert’s single about a suicidal fan has racked up over 86million views on YouTube and the official video only dropped a month ago.
Regardless of what you believe happens after you die, we can all come into agreement that death inevitable. In the words of social media guru Gary Vaynerchuck,
“One day you’re gonna die…”
So why is that we don’t talk about it more often? Why is it that the only people we see who are unafraid to have that conversation are old stoics, artists, and drug riddled pop stars?
If you can’t avoid death why be afraid of it in the first place?
Sure, those that believe in the law of attraction might say,
“I don’t think about death because I don’t want to attract it to me.”
But, what if I told you that you could use the thought of death to motivate you to create a life worth living?
All my friends are dead
Drugs are everywhere…
No matter how perfect your little suburban town may be, chances are that little Timmy across the street is probably in the corner of his bedroom eagerly searching for a fresh vein to jam a needle into.
I know this from first-hand experience
I grew up in small suburban town about 15 minutes north of Dallas, TX called Allen. Certainly far from the inner city, the streets were always clean and safe- my parents never worried that if I was out playing neighborhood hide and seek there was a chance that they may never see me again once the sun went down. The public schools were top notch, often winning exemplary awards for test scores and the neighbors were always friendly. But as perfect as this little cookie cutter town was, underneath it all was a boiling drug problem that started claiming lives as young as 12 years old.
I’ll never forget the first time a friend of mine died of a drug overdose. Crazy enough that I wasn’t even half way through my fifth-grade year, what made it worse is that during the funeral a mutual friend of ours went to the parking lot to shoot up and he ended up dying of a heroin overdose the same day.
Since then, I’ve had more friends go to the other side than I can remember-to the point that death doesn’t bother me in the slightest; any time I hear that someone I’ve known passed away I just kind of shrug my shoulders.
And this is where my morbid motivation started to take place.
Push me to the edge
Experiencing so much death throughout my life hasn’t made me numb to it, in fact it’s made me even more aware of its reality. The more unexpected death I saw, the more I realized how important it is to not only respect life, but to make the absolute best of it every day you’re blessed enough to live it.
I believe death can be a beautiful thing, but only if the previous life was one worth living. Everyday death creeps up on thousands of people like a thief in the night and takes the breath out of their lungs like a space vacuum, and that reality is exactly what I use to get up every day and make the most of my life.
I know I’m going to die one day and when I die isn’t for me to decide.
So, it isn’t death that scares me-it’s the possibility of going to the grave with a bunch of “I wish had of’s”.
I wish had of started that business…
I wish I had of taken that chance and relocated to a different country…
I wish I had of asked her to marry me…
Truth be told, wishes don’t mean shit when you’re dead and they mean even less when you’re alive.
However, so many of us go through life wrestling with a serious case of “I wish I had of’s”. We live life playing it safe, second guessing chances we should have taken thinking they’ll present themselves again, knowing damn well that they never do.
“Greetings, my name is Death but you already knew that. I’ll be your guide today as you walk along the stairway to Heaven.”
Death pays us an unexpected visit and away we go never getting that second chance we really knew we’d never get but didn’t want to admit.
The present is a 🎁
I hate the thought of living an unrealized life, fading into the ether with dreams that never came true. I’d rather put it all on the line and live the life I desire than walk in between this life and the one thereafter with a list of regrets that I could have easily avoided by having a healthy respect for death and treating everyday like the gift that it truly is.
Will you die tomorrow?
Who knows, chances are you may not, but why gamble with the only life you have?
The reality is the future doesn’t exist until it comes and the past is already behind you, therefor the only form of time you can truly count on is the present.
That’s it, all that you have is right here, right now.
There is no tomorrow
There is no next week
There is no next month, quarter, or year.
Everything outside of right now is speculative and if you think you can bank on your future try telling that to my childhood friend Austin who had a very promising one with a full ride to Harvard Med at only 17.
Oh, wait you can’t, because over 10 years ago he died of a very unexpected car crash a few months after he got his scholarship.
I’m not trying to scare you and I’m certainly not telling you that you shouldn’t plan.
What I’m telling you to do is wake you the fuck up.
You’ve got one life to live and regardless of how safe you play it in the back of your mind you know it can be snatched from you at any moment. So, do what I do and use death as motivation to push you forward and take some the chances you’ve been too afraid to take.
Create that master piece you’ve been dreaming about for months.
Take those sculpture classes that you always tell yourself you can’t afford.
Start that business that you’ve been planning for years but have been too afraid to execute.
Take a vacation for once in your life and quit valuing a paycheck over life experiences.
Whatever it is, scratch the itch!
Because dead or alive “I wish I had of” is one of the worst thoughts we can ever have, and if you ask me-it’s far worse than the thought of death itself.
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