Intro to Stoicism

Oxford Dictionary defines Stoicism as “an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge; the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.

At its core, Stoicism is about trusting life as it is, not how we think it should be. 

It’s about focusing on what’s in our control — our lives, and acting virtuously, not being pushed and pulled by our emotions.

Practicing Stoicism helps us see life objectively, giving us an understanding that we are not the center of the Universe — That the Universe is indifferent to our thoughts and feelings, and that that’s perfectly okay. This knowledge helps us live less selfishly and more cooperatively.

Stoicism has been practiced for thousands of years by numerous people. Other than Zeno, a few famous early practitioners of Stoicism were Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus, about 2,000 years ago. The modern day leader in Stoicism is Ryan Holiday, who gave me the opportunity to intern with him; a modern day apprenticeship. There were many events that led to this, it didn’t just happen, which you can read how it all came to be here on Thought Catalog.

During this time Holiday deepened my knowledge of Stoicism, inspiring me to apply these practices into my life — which doesn’t make someone perfect, it just makes us more Stoic, which you can decide if that’s good or bad.

I contemplated Stoic ideas before knowing they were Stoic ideas, thinking they were just far-out thoughts. Then, when reading Holiday’s book recommendations, I came across Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and devoured it. It was one of those books that I got pulled into and didn’t want to leave. I highly recommend reading the whole book, but here’s a link to some of Meditation’s main ideas for now.

Below are 4 fundamental Stoic principles you can begin practicing today:

1) Asking, “Is this within my control?”

—If yes, ask, “How can I act virtuously in this moment?”
—If not, ask, “How can I act virtuously in this moment?”

Most of life isn’t in our control, but our response is.

2) Sympatheia

—This is the idea that all things are connected and mutually interdependent. 

Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, in Meditations, wrote: 

“The universe made rational creatures for the sake of each other, with an eye toward mutual benefit based on true value and never for harm.”

Here is a YouTube video speech given by Carl Sagan to view life from a perspective outside of yourself, thus, growing in the practice of Sympatheia.

3) Amor Fati

—The idea and practice of loving your fate. 
—Things often don’t happen as we’d like them to happen, but we can learn to appreciate all that happens to us by practicing Amor Fati.

Here is a link to an ancient proverb, telling us a story that shows us how when we think something “bad” has happened, it can be good in disguise, and when we think something “good” has happened, it can be bad in disguise. It’s one of my favorite stories and has broadened my way of thinking.

Nietzsche is quoted saying, “my formula for greatness in a human being is Amor Fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it, but love it.”

Epictetus, born a slave, said: “Demand not that things happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do, and you will go on well.”

4) Memento Mori

—Remember you will die.
—This idea scares some people, but it inspires Stoics.  

“If everything is ephemeral, what does matter? Right now matters. Being a good person and doing the right thing right now, that’s what matters and that’s what was important to the Stoics. Be humble and honest and aware.”
Ryan Holiday

We all know we are going to die one day, but it is a subject rarely talked about. We’d rather ignore the fact of death instead of embrace it, so it ends up scaring the hell out of us. Let’s start discussing the topic of death. Let’s let it inspire us to live life wholly, focusing on what’s important, keeping in mind we won’t live forever, and that’s okay.

Here are some inspiring Memento Mori related quotes:

“Every third thought shall be my grave.”
William Shakespeare

“People who are excited by posthumous fame forget that the people who remember them will soon die too. And those after them in turn. Until their memory, passes from one to another like a candle flame, gutters and goes out.”
Marcus Aurelius

“So this is how a thoughtful person should await death: not with indifference, not with impatience, not with disdain, but simply viewing it as one of the things that happens to us. Now you anticipate the child’s emergence from its mother’s womb; that’s how you should await the hour when your soul will emerge from its compartment.”
Marcus Aurelius

“Stop whatever you’re doing for a moment and ask yourself: Am I afraid of death because I won’t be able to do this anymore?”
Marcus Aurelius

“To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.” 
Michel de Montaigne

“Of all the footprints, that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme.”
Buddha

These are just a few Stoic principles you can begin practicing today. I recommend checking out dailystoic.com for more articles on Stoicism, reminders to:

Act virtuously.
Trust the unknown.
Love your fate.
Remember death.

Change Your Life By Changing Your Thoughts

You have the power to change your life by changing your thinking.

Is it easy? 

No, here’s Goethe:

“Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.”

It may be one of the most difficult things to do, but it can be done. 

Da Vinci, Einstein, Buddha, Jesus, Shakespeare, Bruce Lee, and countless others have spoken on this truth.

You have the power, but it requires responsibility: 

“You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think.”
― Marianne Williamson

You may have heard “with great power comes great responsibility” but looking at the state of the world we can all see this isn’t true. 

What’s true is that great responsibility leads to great power, which begins with taking responsibility for your thoughts. Da Vinci defined this truth as “Science”.

Your world won’t change until you change your thinking.

How?

Begin by thinking about your ideal life.
What does it look like?
What’s your financial situation?
How are your relationships?
What’s your living situation like?
How is your health?

Visualizing your ideal life plants seeds into your subconscious mind, which when repeated begins to manifest in the physical world.

When a thought arises that doesn’t have to do with your ideal life, change it. This is humankind’s superpower, “giving birth to evolution” Einstein said.

Disciplining your thoughts is a practice. The more you work on it, the stronger your mind becomes, the more in control of your life you become.

The path of your best life awaits you, what are you waiting for?

Get to it.

Use Imagination to Create Your Life

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
— Einstein


Einstein said imagination is the preview of life’s coming attractions, and imagination comes from within.


Our minds generate imagination, but are we doing the generating?

We are.
Our thoughts are shaping our future. 

“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”
— Buddha

So how do you begin training your thoughts?

Begin by thinking about the life you want.

Check out this 3-Step Process to learn more! 

Sending Thoughts&Love Your Way.

21 Best Buddha Quotes Showing The Power of Your Mind

1 — “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”

2 — “All experiences are preceded by mind, having mind as their master, created by mind.”

3 — “All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?”

4 — “What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.”

5 — “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”

6 — “He is able who thinks he is able.” 

7 — “What you think you create, what you feel you attract, what you imagine you become.”

8 — “Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox.”

9 — “There is nothing so disobedient as an undisciplined mind, and there is nothing so obedient as a disciplined mind.”

10 — “It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.” 

11 — “Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”

12 — “What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.”

13 — “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”

14 — “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, not to anticipate the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

15 — “Irrigators channel waters; fletchers straighten arrows; carpenters bend wood; the wise master themselves.”

16 — “Delight in heedfulness! Guard well your thoughts!”

17 — “You are a seeker. Delight in the mastery of your hands and your feet, of your words and your thoughts.”

18 — “In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”

19 — “The external world is only a manifestation of the activities of the mind itself, and the mind grasps it as an external world simply because of its habit of discrimination and false-reasoning. The disciple must get into the habit of looking at things truthfully.”

20 — “Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking and pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness.”

21 — “Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.”

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25 Law of Mind Quotes from Geniuses

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
— Einstein

“Those who fall in love with practice without science are like a sailor who enters a ship without a helm or a compass, and who never can be certain whither he is going.”
— Da Vinci

“It has long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”
— Da Vinci

“The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.”
— Stephen Hawking

“I have noticed that even those who assert that everything is predestined and that we can change nothing about it still look both ways before they cross the street.”
— Stephen Hawking

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”
— Einstein

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
— Einstein

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”
—Einstein

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^^Let all these quotes sink in⌄⌄

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“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
— Buddha

“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”
— Buddha

*“Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.”
Goethe

“As you think, so shall you become.”
— Bruce Lee

“The mind is the root from which all things grow if you can understand the mind, everything else is included. It’s like the root of a tree. All a tree’s fruit and flowers, branches and leaves depend on its root. If you nourish its root, a tree multiplies. If you cut its root, it dies. Those who understand the mind reach enlightenment with minimal effort.”
― Bodhidharma

“The human mind is our fundamental resource.”
— John F. Kennedy

“Thoughts are but dreams till their effects be tried.”
— William Shakespeare

“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”
Voltaire

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
Steve Jobs

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.”
— Henry Ford

“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”
— John Locke

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”
— Romans 12:2

“17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
— Ephesians 4:17—24

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
― James 5:16

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
―2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

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A 3-Step Process to Begin Creating YOUR Life

1—Define your ideal life.

Ask yourself: 
—“What does my ideal life look like?”
—“What does my ideal job look like?”
—“What do my ideal relationships look like?”

Continue this process of questions in each area you want to improve in.

2—Write down your answers.

It’s one thing to contemplate your ideal life, but when you write it on paper or a word doc, it enters the physical world and plants seeds into your subconscious.

3—Affirm your ideal life.

Your mind is like a garden, what you put into it is what will grow.

I have experienced this first-hand, “coincidentally” brushing shoulders with giants again and again. Affirm it daily. The more you affirm it, the more it will manifest.

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.”
—Buddha 

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
―Thomas Jefferson

“If you have a strong mind and plant in it a firm resolve, you can change your destiny.”
―Paramahansa Yogananda

This process is extremely effective in manifesting a life of your choosing. It’s simple yet requires great responsibility.

Some say “With great power comes great responsibility,” but it’s more like “With great responsibility comes great power.”

Great spiritual teachers spoke of this.
Great psychologists spoke of this.
Great philosophers spoke of this.
&Great scientists speak of this.

A Panda’s Journey includes all the above, and it can be learned.

I offer one-to-one coaching but recommend starting with our weekly free emails.

Just enter your email below to join hundreds of others learning This Path of the Panda.

The path of Responsibility. 
The path of Empowerment.
The path of Truth.

The path to your Best Life.

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What Impact Do Your Thoughts Have?

Your thoughts come and go like waves in an ocean. Sometimes they’re ceaseless, sometimes stagnant, but it doesn’t change the fact that your Mind is powerful.

You know it. Scientists & Researchers know it. I know it. Jesus & Buddha knew it. But we still barely know anything about it. Scientists are finally discovering the quantum physics impact thoughts are having. 

They’re finding that your thoughts DO impact your experience — They send out energy vibrations, as well as receive energy vibrations from the thoughts of others.

We often think our thoughts are uncontrollable, but this is only because we haven’t disciplined our thoughts – we’ve been taught to believe they are uncontrollable, but it’s possible to train your mind. Thoughts will still come and go, but when you practice redirecting and choosing your thoughts, your life will massively improve. 

Your life shifts in the way of your mind. 

What are you doing today to strengthen your mind?

Sign up for A Panda’s Journey weekly emails to receive techniques, stories, studies, and more to help you train your mind and empower your life.

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How Laughing Can Improve Your Life

“Ha. Ha. Ha.”

There are so many ways to pronounce the sounds: “ha ha ha.”

Do you say it with emphasis?

If so, where is your emphasis?

If not, well, that’s funny too.

Try it 5-10 times in different ways & tell me you aren’t feeling a little bit better.

It’s actually Science. 

More research is being done in this area but here are a few relative studies and part of their conclusions discussing how even simulated laughter increases positive feelings/endorphins.

A study on how social laughter releases endorphins in the brain

—A couple studies showing that simulated laughter had positive effects on multiple aspects of health, including heart health. (First study)  (Second study)

A Study on combining simulated laughter and physical activity showed significant improvements in participants mental health, aerobic endurance, and self-efficacy for exercise.

So science shows that simulating laughter and even smiles can induce endorphins & positive feelings.

Guess who else thinks laughing is one of the most beneficial things anyone can do?

Like everyone. Literally. Well not literally, but check it out:

And after the quotes you can find a list of ways to simulate laughter into your life.

Don’t forget to laugh today!  🙂

“Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age. Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It’s more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack.”
Dr. Seuss

“As you proceed through life, following your own path, birds will shit on you. Don’t bother to brush it off. Getting a comedic view of your situation gives you spiritual distance. Having a sense of humor saves you.”
Joseph Campbell

 “With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.”
Abraham Lincoln

“Trouble knocked at the door, but, hearing laughter, hurried away.”
Benjamin Franklin

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”
Charles Dickens

“I never would have made it if I could not have laughed. It lifted me momentarily out of this horrible situation, just enough to make it livable.”
Viktor Frankl

“Frame your mind to mirth and merriment
which bars a thousand harms
and lengthens life.”
William Shakespeare

“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.”
Mark Twain

“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”
Buddha

“Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans. It is lovely to be silly at the right moment.”
Horace

“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.”
Maya Angelou

“There is little success where there is little laughter.”
Andrew Carnegie

“I’ve always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, ‘Ain’t that the truth.’”
 Quincy Jones

“Laughter is America’s most important export.”
Walt Disney

“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”
Elbert Hubbard

“It is more fitting for a man to laugh at life than to lament over it.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“The size of a man’s understanding can be justly measured by his mirth.”
Samuel Johnson

“If we couldn’t laugh, we would all going to go insane.”
Jimmy Buffett

“The child in you, like all children, loves to laugh, to be around people who can laugh at themselves and life. Children instinctively know that the more laughter we have in our lives, the better.”
Wayne Dyer

“A man isn’t poor if he can still laugh.”
Raymond Hitchcock

“You have as much laughter as you have faith.”
Martin Luther

“Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.”
George Bernard Shaw

“And the little prince broke into a lovely peal of laughter, which irritated me very much. I like my misfortunes to be taken seriously.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder

“My focus is to forget the pain of life. Forget the pain, mock the pain, reduce it. And laugh.”
Jim Carrey

“If you would not be laughed at, be the first to laugh at yourself.”
Benjamin Franklin

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”
Anthony Burgess

“It is cheerful to God when you rejoice or laugh from the bottom of your heart.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

“If you’re funny, if there’s something that makes you laugh, then every day’s going to be okay.”
Tom Hanks

“We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.”
Agnes Repplier

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
E. E. Cummings

“A person who knows how to laugh at himself will never cease to be amused.” Shirley MacClain

“Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone who can consistently laugh at himself does not.”
Vaclav Havel

“God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.”
Voltaire

“He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh.”
Koran

“As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.”
Lao Tsu

“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”
Dr. Seuss

“One can know a man from his laugh, and if you like a man’s laugh before you know anything of him, you may confidently say that he is a good man.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.”
Ken Kesey

“To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.”
William Arthur Ward

“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.”
Yiddish Proverb

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”
Irish Proverb

“You must learn to take life less seriously and to laugh.”
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

“The greatest prayer you could ever pray is to laugh every day.”
Ramtha

“The person who can bring the spirit of laughter into a room is indeed blessed.” Bennett Cerf

“Don’t take yourself too seriously. Know when to laugh at yourself, and find a way to laugh at obstacles that inevitably present themselves.”
Halle Berry

“There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.”
Amy Poehler

“If you can’t laugh, you won’t make it.”
Jennifer Love Hewitt

“Fame comes and fame goes, but you have to be able to laugh about yourself and to take it with a grain of salt.”
Khloe Kardashian

“If you can’t laugh at yourself, you don’t deserve to laugh at anybody else.”
Charlie Murphy

“Nothing feels as good to me as laughing incredibly hard.”
Steve Carell

“Life is tough; and if you have the ability to laugh at it, you have the ability to enjoy it.”
Salma Hayek

“Sometimes you almost have to laugh to keep from crying to deal with the pain associated with the hood.”
Gucci Mane

“I surround myself with people who make me laugh.”
Allen Iverson

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”
Audrey Hepburn

“Wit is the key, I think, to anybody’s heart, because who doesn’t like to laugh?”
Julia Roberts

“It’s important to remember that life is a joke, and that outlook grants a lot of perspective, but I don’t think comedy should change and become political due to other things. It should just laugh at that cosmic joke that life is all the time.” John Mulaney

“Laughter is a bodily exercise, precious to health.”
Aristotle

“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”
Mark Twain

“He that is of a merry heart has a continual feast.”
Proverbs 15:15

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:3

“Anything with the power to make you laugh over thirty years later isn’t a waste of time. I think something like that is very close to immortality.”
Stephen King

“If you become silent after your laughter, one day you will hear God also laughing, you will hear the whole existence laughing — trees and stones and stars with you.”
Osho

“The point is seeing that THIS — the immediate, everyday and present experience — is IT, the entire and ultimate point for the existence of a universe. I believe that if this state of consciousness could become more universal, the pretentious nonsense which passes for the serious business of the world would dissolve in laughter… “
Alan Watts

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.”
Mark Twain

Ways to create and simulate laughter

“When you are totally depressed, you should try giggling. Just make yourself laugh. Force yourself to laugh.”
Yoko Ono

**Smile for 5 minutes

**Surround yourself with positive and fun people

**Count your blessings

**Watch funny videos/Read funny stories & jokes
(Rodney Dangerfield jokes below)

**Schedule time for fun activities

**Bring humor into conversations
(Ask someone “what’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?”)

**Go to a laughter yoga class
(I went to a few of these in college and it was awesome!)

*Remember funny things that have happened recently

**Remember fun times from your childhood

**Laugh at yourself.

**Remind self to laugh

**Laugh every day! 🙂

“Whenever I want to laugh, I read a wonderful book, ‘Children’s Letters to God.’ You can open it anywhere. One I read recently said, ‘Dear God, thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy.’”
Maya Angelou

Some quite funny Rodney Dangerfield’s jokes:

“I asked my old man if I could go ice-skating on the lake. He told me, ‘Wait til it gets warmer.’”

“I could tell that my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.”

“Last Halloween a kid tried to rip my face off. He thought it was a mask. Now it’s different when I open the door the kids hand me candy.”

“My father carries around the picture of the kid who came with his wallet.”

“My uncle’s dying wish was to have me sitting on his lap. He was in the electric chair.”

“One night I came home. I figured, let my wife come on. I’ll play it cool. Let her make the first move. She went to Florida.”

“My wife isn’t very bright. The other day she was at the store, and just as she was heading for our car, someone stole it! I said, ‘Did you see the guy that did it?’ She said, ‘No, but I got the license plate.’”

“I tell you, with my doctor, I don’t get no respect. I told him, ‘I’ve swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills.’ He told me to have a few drinks and get some rest.”

“I had a lot of pimples too. One day I fell asleep in a library. I woke up and a blind man was reading my face.”

“A travel agent told I could spend 7 nights in HAWAII no days just nights.”

What is something that makes you laugh? 🙂

Let Memento Mori Inspire You

“Memento Mori” means to keep in mind that you will die.

2,000 years ago it was popular for Roman generals to keep this idea in mind. 

As generals paraded around their cities in horse led chariots after victorious battles, they kept aides behind them to whisper into their ears, “Memento Mori.”

Generals knew the fleetingness of life and wanted to keep the reminder close by so that their egos didn’t get the best of them. It’s easy for our ego to inflate and make us believe we are bigger than death, especially after achieving success. So it is a humble reminder to remember your death. To remember that you, and everyone around you, is going to die.

Skull-of-a-Skeleton-768x1018.jpg

A Memento Mori painting by Vincent Van Gogh

Many artists, philosophers, and rulers have used “Memento Mori” to inspire them.

Instead of letting the idea of death scare them, as many do, they used it to create urgency and a deeper perspective, seeing life as a gift and not as suffering.

You’ve probably heard of people who have experienced a near death experience and came out of it with a new inspiration for living fully. You don’t need a near death experience to change your life. “Memento Mori” can be your inspiration and guide to living a full life.

 

Here are some famous names of the past who were inspired by the reminder of death, Memento Mori:

“Of all the footprints, that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme.”
Buddha

“Every third thought shall be my grave.”
William Shakespeare

“Philosophy is “about nothing else but dying and being dead.”
Socrates

“To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.”
Michel de Montaigne

“People who are excited by posthumous fame forget that the people who remember them will soon die too. And those after them in turn. Until their memory, passes from one to another like a candle flame, gutters and goes out.”
Marcus Aurelius

“So this is how a thoughtful person should await death: not with indifference, not with impatience, not with disdain, but simply viewing it as one of the things that happens to us. Now you anticipate the child’s emergence from its mother’s womb; that’s how you should await the hour when your soul will emerge from its compartment.”
Marcus Aurelius

“Stop whatever you’re doing for a moment and ask yourself: Am I afraid of death because I won’t be able to do this anymore?”
Marcus Aurelius

Find more Marcus Aurelius ideas on death & other subjects here

 

vanity-philippe-de-champaigne.jpg

Vanity Painting by Philippe de Champaigne

 

The reminder of death still inspires many modern day entrepreneurs, artists, and others:

“There’s something coming for all of us. It’s called death. Rather than fearing it, it can become one of our greatest counselors. So, if this was the last week of your life, what would you cherish most? How would you live? How would you love? What truth would you tell today?”
Tony Robbins

“It’s easy to lose track of that mortality, to forget time, to think that you’re going to live forever. The idea that you’re gonna die and that life is short is only depressing if you’re thinking about it wrong. If you’re thinking about it right it should give you a sense of priority. It should even give you a sense of meaning; it should let you know what’s important, what you’re trying to do while you’re here on this planet.”
Ryan Holiday

“The reason I believe in it(death as motivation) is because it’s ultimately practical. It’s the guiding light and the fire and ambition that drives me toward legacy and living my best life.”
Gary Vaynerchuk

 

Will you look death in the face?

Are you ready to let death inspire you?

Do it and see how your life changes for the better…

Memento Mori