Do not be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You do not have to live forever; you just have to live.
Your children will die around 30 years after you, and your grandchildren another 30 years after that. 60 years. After that you will be forgotten. All the things you did in your life – all your struggles, ambitions, failures, successes, sorrows and joys – gone and forgotten.
If you would have won a Nobel prize, if you were known for some famous invention or idea, there would be some traces left of you in some book. But most do not reach that kind of fame.
Do you know your great grandfather? How many people know about him? A hundred years from now, you could just as well never have existed.
Just 60 years after you die, your gravestone will be dug up to make place for a newer one. Your stone will be towed away to that forest clearing on the other side of the cemetery.
From there it will be recycled with someone elses name on it, or simply destroyed. This can be a depressing thought. But it can also be liberating and uplifting.
Your utter insignificance in the grander scheme of things is liberating, as it highlights and acknowledges how little risk there is to doing things. Because no matter the outcome, it will mean absolutely nothing when you are gone.
Your most ambitious and daring dreams, no matter if they succeed or not, they will mean absolutely nothing when you are gone.
All that really matters in the end, is that you found a joy of living, in the beautiful but insignificant little episode that was your life.
So savor that feeling of lightness, of wanting to try anything that comes to mind. Savor that feeling of wanting to experiment, to do silly things. Even if you manage to make a fool of yourself in the most spectacular way, nobody will care a hundred years from now.
Go out and explore, celebrate life, enjoy freedom, because you are just here for a brief moment, before waning into the same eternal nonexistence that you came from not long ago.
Perhaps the most important question you want to ask yourself is ‘How will I be remembered when I am gone?’ Will others see you as selfish, unloving, uncommitted and impatient, or will they see all your amazing qualities – compassionate, kind, giving, and loving.
The choices you make now will impact how others see you.