Meaning Of Death. How To Get Reactivated For Action!
Life has a beginning and life has an end.
And in between ideally you’d work on yourself to become a better, stronger person – so that you can achieve your dreams, so that you can have destiny that is fulfilled, so that you can have a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment and happiness and so that when you are dead – on your thumb stone, you have something to write about that symbolized who you were, what you stood for and what you fought for.
As gay men we have so much talk about death in the context of HIV and AIDS that we forget that death has other purpose too – death helps us make meaning out of life. Reminders about death can help us reorient ourselves to pay attention to what really is important in life.
Sex is not one of those things that you will put on your thumb stone – as an example – would you really want to carve this on your thumb stone: “I had the best sex ever, or I had the sexiest boyfriend ever or I had an amazing sex life.” Just imagine how ridiculous that sounds.
So how do you create meaning out of life?
You create meaning out of life when you are clearer about who you are, when you are clearer about what your purpose is, your vision, your destiny.
Our destiny is the ultimate proof of having a meaning. Ask yourself: “what is your destiny?” – “what were you created to do that no other person was created to do?”.
How thorough are you in discovering your destiny for yourself? How detailed and committed are you to make your destiny real while you are alive, so that once you are dead you can rest in peace and not rest in regret.
That is something you will need to discover for yourself and that’s what coaching, training and psychology is about – to remind you about the passage of time – to remind you that as time is passing by – that one day you might have regrets for real – and these regrets might contribute to anxieties and suffering.
Cemetery is a helpful place to come to once in a while. In Poland we have a special day on November 1st during which we celebrate the dead and we remind ourselves about the meaning of life on that day.
Experience of death has been shielded from us. We go about our lives thinking that we are never going to die that we will always be alive and that death is only for old people – but as you can see – these people in this cemetery were once alive as well and I bet they wanted to have amazing lives themselves. I bet they were telling themselves that one day they will be happy. They were telling themselves that one day they will have an amazing lover, that one day they will be fulfilled.
I wander how many of these people laying in the ground – how many truly received fulfilment, how many of them achieved greatness, how many made their purpose come true.
So find a cemetery where you live, go there – remind yourself about the passage of time, about the meaning of life and about the end of life.
The end is coming for you – maybe not now, hopefully not in 10 or 20 years, but in 50 years you will most likely be dead if you are over 40 years old today.
So go find a cemetery you can go to. It could be the cemetery where your parents rest or a totally random cemetery and just stay in stillness and absorb and inhale the smell of death and accept the meaning of death so that you can reorient your life while you are alive. So that you can spend every day on things that matter.
There isn’t a better way to reorient ourselves than to come to a cemetery. We can pretend that our lives have meaning but we are really not confronted with the reality of death until we see dead people, until we see stones and graves like this right here in this cemetery.
What would you like to have written on your thumb stone?
I don’t believe in the idea that you can die from totally random accidents, that you can die anytime because you somehow get “hit by a bus”. I believe that when you are prepared, when you have clarity and have meaning – you can avoid accidents and mistakes that might appear random but are in actuality the result of ambiguity and confusion.
Your life does not have to be a haphazard existence waiting for some random death to end it.
I believe you can create your life so that you can avoid death to the degree that your body allows you and when its time its time. And hopefully when its time – you will have life that has been filled with activities, people and events that are proof of life lived with direction, purpose and attention.
And if you are confused, anxious today, if you are uncertain about what your purpose is, what your vision is, what clarity means to you – come to a cemetery. Maybe you will find it in a cemetery, when you are quiet, in solitude, looking at all the dead people.
You have a choice.
These people laying here in the cemetery no longer have a choice, you have that choice. You have a choice today to do something different. You have choice today to stand up for yourself and fight for what you want. You have choice to day to be who you always wanted to be.
So who do you see yourself becoming this month, this year. Who do you see yourself as when you think about your highest self – the version for you that makes you feel alive and happy.
I reflect about this all the time – I want to become closer to my ideal self – because when I am my ideal self I feel happy, I feel content.
When I die what I want to have this written on my grave: “Paul Angelo always wanted to be better each day than the day before”.
I want to be remembered by my desire to be better, to grow. I want others to know that I took risks, that I did the things that most people are afraid to do.
Hopefully you are also willing to take the risk that is necessary so that when you are dead you will be laying in the ground content with who you have become, who you have loved, who loved you, the things you have done, the risks you have taken, the innovation you brought to the world, the purpose you have created for yourself.
You definitely don’t want to get stuck, paying attention to what others instead of listening to your own guiding voice.
What you don’t want to be doing is – you don’t want to spend your life focusing on what other people say about you, you don’t want other people to define you – you want to be self-defined.
Here is a call for you to find your destiny, to find your purpose, to find your meaning, to find the reason why you are alive at all costs. Find it if you have to scrape the ground with your nails, if you have to say goodbye to everybody and everything you have ever done – if that’s what it takes than that’s what it takes.
Sometimes we have to detach from the distractions, from the people in our lives, from all the stuff that we have accumulated in order to find our new version in order to reconnect to our purpose.
A fundamental element of everyone’s purpose is to grow every day, to learn to get better than the day before. And when you do that, the destiny will show itself up for you – because when you are growing, you are changing, you are adapting, you are acquiring new skills, you are becoming different than the day before and its inevitable you come across your destiny when you do that.
So may this video be a calling for you about finding your destiny, finding your purpose, not to be distracted by all the nonsense on TV, by the people out there who are “blink blink” driven, a lot of the “plastic” mindsets out there. Life is very short – look – one day you will be like that (pointing at a grave).
Life is incredibly short – I just turned 40 and I remember when I was 24 years old, making plans to accomplish before I am 30 … and now I am 40. Life speeds up – it’s way too short to be distracted.
So go out there – do your work, struggle if you have to, scrape the ground with your nails, with your hands and your feet until you find something that defines who you are. Don’t let anything distract you in the way and hopefully the videos that I create for you in terms of gay issues, sexuality and love – they help you get there a bit faster.
Nothing in life will be more important than finding that defining meaning, the definition, the purpose about you. Sex will not make you happy, another lover will not make you happy, the best sex will not do it for you, the biggest gadgets will not do it for you, the biggest houses will not do it for you – what will do it for you will be something you can take with you anywhere – it’s how you see yourself and the growth you have done for yourself.
So your homework today is to go to a cemetery and imagine that you are in front of your own grave and to start a conversation with your dead-self.
- What would you ask him?
- What do you think he would have said to you?
- How would he challenge you so that you get another chance at something that he no longer has a chance to do?”
Take this very seriously because every year that passes by that you play it safe, every year that passes by that you play it incongruent with who you are you pay a very high price?
My 40’s will be about big things, I will be doing a lot of things I have never done before and I am scared shitless but I will do it anyway.
And I want you to have the same mentality – go out there, think big, stay present to who you are, who you think you are and become a leader. When you are a leader you will never have regrets and you will never be upset at yourself when you are dead because by becoming a leader you naturally do the things nobody has done.
Every time I end my videos I say: “Think big, Stay present. Be a leader today.” for that reason – life is too short. You don’t want to waste your life on petty silly stuff that is mainstream, average, copy and paste from one person to another – copying without innovation without thinking.
It’s time for you to innovate on your own, it’s time for you to think for yourself, its time for you to stand up for yourself and for your values. And that’s why I am here – to help you do that.
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