How to live, knowing that you will die.

When we are young most of us don't think we are going to die; not really.  Sooner or later we are reminded that this life is impermanent.  Maybe its a gray hair, the death of a friend or family member, whatever; it hits us... we will not be here forever.

So how do you live when you know you are going to die? You may not be able to choose how you will die, but you can choose how you will live.  ( See To Live. )
I can't make your decisions for you but I can share how I want to live; knowing that I will die.

Live here and now ( See  Tomorrow. )

I try to honor every moment and to be mindfully present instead of always worrying about the future. Does it make sense to waste today worrying about tomorrow?  Will we turn around and do the same with that day?

Do not waste a day. ( Read  Life is Fragile and Precious. )

I disconnected my cable television months ago.  I enjoy the odd program, but I will not waste a large part of my life watching other people live.  I'd rather be living my own life.

Give it everything that I've got. ( See Burning Bright. )

The best feeling in the world is to be totally exhausted after doing something hard and worthwhile.  Knowing that I give a task or a cause my best effort is all of the success I need.

Be myself ( Read Being Real. )

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."  ~Judy Garland

My life has become so much more rich and meaningful as I have learned to listen to my inner voice and be my true self.

Have a purpose ( See 10 Goals .)

When all is said and done, I want what I have done to matter.   Choose a set of principles, values, or beliefs to incorporate into your life.

Be kind and helpful ( See Kindness. )

This sort of goes with above.  Being kind and helpful is a purpose.  Life can be hard sometimes.  I like to think that I've made it a little better for at least a few people. 

"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." ~ Steve Jobs

Zen Presence - minimalism, simplicity, self improvement, simple living, Zen in modern life.


  1. I just learned about the idea of Wabi-Sabi from Zen Buddhism. Do you know anything about it? If you do I would love to read a post.

  2. Lovely post. :-) I wondered why you tagged me on Twitter. That Steve Jobs quote is one of my favorites. Thank you!

  3. Great reminder. How funny that we were both thinking the same thing today!

    Interestingly enough, I have both the quote from my post ("the only matter of consequence...") and your "10 Goals" posted in my classroom, at my desk.

  4. Do not waste a day really jumped out at me. While I don't watch a ton of TV, we do spend time on the weekends watching some shows. I never thought about that you're not living your own life while you're watching others live theirs...

  5. @Rachel, We all have our own forms of entertainment that we enjoy. To me it only becomes a problem when you aren't mindful about it and it becomes a substitute for living a real life. We watch an odd netflix program, but use it to learn or enrich our lives in some manner.

  6. Touching Post! And I love the quote by Steve Jobs... very inspiring!

  7. What do you do, though, if you can't take such good advice because settling for a self-created purpose seems so inferior to having a divinely ordained purpose, yet you don't believe in the divine?

  8. Momento Mori /Sic transit gloria mundi
    "O quam cito transit gloria mundi" ("How quickly the glory of the world passes away")
    After reading this was remembering something from when I was growing up in the old Latin Rite tradition.