Memento Mori

The two words that mark today’s title roll off the tongue with a sort of exquisite flavor. The Latin language uniquely powerful. Yet the definition of the statement is surprisingly sullen. But like most things in life, it depends on your perspective because what is doom and gloom for one, may be liberating for another.


Tim Ferris, who I have made reference to before, talks about Memento Mori in his book Tribe of Mentors. He uses it as a pathway for success.

And the Wikipedia definition is quite clear:

Memento Mori is the medieval Latin Christian theory and practice of reflection on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits.

If this were your last moment before dying, what would you want to be thinking about? What matters most to you?

Our time really is limited. We don’t know exactly when our time on this earth will end, we just know that it will at some point. Since our time is finite, we should repeatedly concern ourselves with the things that actually matter.

It is quite commonplace for us to get caught up in the things that we would truly care little about if we knew our time was limited, or at the very least thought about that limitation a little more often. Perhaps we would actually “LIVE MORE” if we periodically thought about such a notion.

Expectations, both those put on us by others and those we place on ourselves, are often unnecessary evils. They drive us insane. We do our best to please others and we lose sight of doing the things that matter.

To have that do or die moment puts everything in perspective. Nothing quite compares to such thoughts and because of this fact, it can truly drive us toward the ultimate success that we seek. And such success is not marked by what we own or how much money we have, but rather by how fulfilled, productive and happy we might be able to be. In the end these are the things that make our lives.

Memento Mori drives us to “drop-off” the things that don’t actually matter.

So what are you waiting for? What is your Memento Mori today?

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