Player One: You are about to die.


Are you wasting your most valuable resource? 

Imagine I told you today that you had a wallet with $1,000 in it. You could spend it on whatever or whoever you want. But you wake up again tomorrow with a new $1,000, whether you spend none or all of it.

What would you choose to do?

I’d guess you’ll spend it! You might spend it on an experience, something you’ve always wanted to buy, or maybe you’d spend it on others.

Right? After all, if it’s gonna disappear tomorrow might as well spend it.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not really talking bout money. I’m talking about the resource that’s infinitely more valuable, non-refundable, and non-renewable:

I’m talking bout, TIME, sucka!

Every day, if we’re not careful, we can spend our most valuable non-renewable resource on things that just don’t freaking matter:

  • In a job that we hate, or one that doesn’t fulfill us.
  • With people that don’t bring us happiness instead of with those that do
  • Being angry or mad at things that don’t matter
  • Not doing the things we actually want to accomplish.

Over the past few years, after losing many friends at young ages, I’ve started to remember death daily. It’s a bit morbid, but also a bit inspiring and hopeful.

One thing is for sure: it’s changed how I attack each day, remembering that time is not infinite, so I might as well focus on the important.

Memento MorI

dominoes

Back in the day (which was a Wednesday), remembering death was a crucial part of life in the Roman Empire.

As pointed out by Brett over on Art of Manliness:

“The phrase “Memento Mori” (aka “Remember death”) is believed to originate from an ancient Roman tradition in which a servant would be tasked with standing behind a victorious general as he paraded though town. As the general basked in the glory of the cheering crowds, the servant would whisper in the general’s ear: “Respice post te! Hominem te esse memento! Memento mori!” = “Look behind you! Remember that you are but a man! Remember that you will die!”

In other words, no matter what you do or how you choose to spend your time, one day you will die. Regardless of what you accomplish or don’t accomplish, regardless of what you think happens after you die, at some point your world will get shut down.

We’re all the same, whether we die with a billion dollars or zero bucks, once our clock stops ticking. I think we can all agree that we are interested in living the best life on this planet we can, and happiness and meaning are more important than anything else.

Keeping death in the forefront of our mind can be a powerful tool. So can remembering World of Warcraft.

The end of the World (of Warcraft)

wowserver

Did you hear the news last week?

World of Warcraft, the world’s most famous persistently online video game, shut down a rogue server, meaning that characters who had been created on that server would cease to exist, after years and years of playtime. If you’ve ever played an online game that you’ve invested significant hours into, you know how devastating this can feel, even if you haven’t played in a while: a character that you have dumped THOUSANDS of hours into will no longer be playable. It can feel, oddly, like quite a loss.

In fact, it can even feel like an “end of world” scenario.

In fitting nerdy behavior, hundreds upon hundreds of players logged in to say goodbye to each other, to reminisce, and to say goodbye to their virtual lives on this server. Somebody even made a video to commemorate the occasion, with fitting music: