“One of the virtues of mortality, if one wishes to look for such a virtue, is the reminder that choices really do matter and that the issue of permission to make those choices is now critical and necessary. It may well lead one to realize that a life managed by fear is a life unlived. In the cases where I attended those overtly dying, most came to conclude that the interim provided them an urgent summons to a larger life.” — James Hollis, Living an Examined Life
“Your days are numbered. Will you pass them half awake and halfhearted or will you live with a sense of urgency?” — Robert Greene
After a string of noteworthy experiences this year, mixed with a series of body blows to the soul, I look at the world differently than I did when it began. Perhaps you feel that too? There’s no doubt we’ve been through a lot the last few years, and the universe keeps piling on. But we have this opportunity to do something radical in our brief time—to answer the call that only we hear.
Most of us are blessed with choices in this modern world, choices that billions of our ancestors would have cherished. But most live lives of deferment and low agency. The universe remains dispassionate to our individual quest for meaning and fulfillment in this world. It’s our job to make something of our time.
We’re all being eaten alive by time. We can’t stop the clock but we can fill the moment. The answer always has been to awaken from our lethargy and take action. We all have our personal collection of fears and biases that hold us back from the urgent and important contribution we must make to feel our lives have meaning. What we do next is truly up to us.