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March 16, 2023

"Waking up is the first thing to be grateful for."

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I don’t mean to be morbid, but I’m going to touch a little bit on the imminent reality that is death. It’s nothing to be afraid of, in fact the best thing we can do is embrace it.

A classic stoic philosophy is “Memento Mori” which translates to “you will die”. Once you embrace that truth and understand that your days are numbered, without fear, you’ll feel liberated to start living.

And that’s why for today’s quote I want to tie death to gratitude - “Waking up is the first thing to be grateful for.”

This hits in two different ways. There are people going to sleep tonight who won’t be waking up. They’re old and sick, and they’ve lived their last day, breathed their last breath, and moved on to whatever’s next. What they wouldn’t give to have another youthful, care-free morning to wake up with the world ahead of them. That’s what you have today, even if it doesn’t necessarily feel like it. So take advantage of it!

And then equally important, there are people waking up this morning for the last time and they have no idea. Accidents happen, it’s just the way things are. Imagine if they knew that this morning was the last time in their life they’d be opening their eyes to start a new day. They’d treat it much differently wouldn't they? We feel invincible in the face of these tragedies and figure it would never happen to us. But it could. Anything is possible. So let’s live like there’s something on the line because every day, there is.

So every morning when your alarm goes off get in the habit of rehearsing two words - “Thank you”. Thank you for another opportunity to experience a new day. Thank you for the miracle that is life and a fully functioning body. We have so much to be grateful for, not the least of which is the chance to live out another 24 hours.

While this isn't necessarily a new perspective, sometimes we need to be reminded of what we already know to really understand its meaning.

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