👋 Hey Friends,
Welcome back to the 30-Day Productivity Challenge by the famous YouTuber, former doctor and now writer Ali Abdaal.
Someday, it might be in 80, 65, or 30 years or tomorrow you will die. This simple fact is inevitable, unchangeable, and completely indestructible.
The title and the quote cover the essence of what today’s little task is all about. It involves time and how we approach it. The fact that you, your brother, your partner, your friend, and everyone else you see every day is eventually going to be gone forever is something that we tend not to think about.
It frightens us. And we can all resonate with this fear, this fear of being gone forever, for an infinite amount of time. But I think the fear of death isn’t about death itself, but about the fear that we will regret what we have done with our lives.
🧐 The fear of death isn’t real?
The fact that you are going to die is set in stone, and you cannot do anything, not a single bit about it. It doesn’t matter how much you hate it, or how much you want it to change, it will not be true. This statement, this truth that death is an interchangeable part of life, is out of your control.
As the great Stoic Marcus Aurelius reminds us:
“You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.”
What Aurelius is trying to say is that you cannot change that you are going to die, but what you can change is the way you approach this. This is a common thing in nearly every philosophy I have come across. There’s always a difference between perception, truth, and understanding, but the stoics teach us that our perception of things outside our control has to be controlled to live a fulfilled and happy life.
When you say that you are afraid of death, what you are actually saying is that you are afraid that you have not done enough while living.
To live and eventually die without this regret, you have to think about what you want to achieve, create a vision for it and plan on how to come close to that vision. The world of living a good and fulfilling life is all about setting a goal and asking the why, when and most importantly, how.
Without asking these questions and without being precious about time, you will always lack the awareness that time is the single most important non-renewable resource you have in life.
😎 The WWH-Method
The WWH-Method consists of asking the questions why, when and how about your most influential goals in life. Let’s get back to one goal that I have set myself for 2024, which is running a half-marathon in under two hours.
⏰ When do I want this?
I want to run the half-marathon in under two hours, ideally on the 30th of June 2024 because I will participate in the annual Hamburg Half Marathon but also before my 18th birthday on the 6th of December.
🏃 Why do I want this?
I want to do this because I want to prove to myself that I can achieve anything, even athletic goals if I put my head around it and train for it. On this day, I manage to run over 13-kilometre distances, which is something that I never would have thought I could do when I started training about a year ago. I have always been the kid to whom everybody said that he is smart and can do math, but will never be good at sports. I would rather not prove these people wrong (although it is a good thing on the side) but I rather want to prove myself wrong who thinking about myself like that the whole time.
Additionally, I hope to feel healthy because I have never been the person who is on the healthy side, but rather someone who suffers from his addictions.
I would like to prove to myself that I can change and run this half-marathon.
📝 How am I going to do this?
I am going to do this by focusing on training with different workouts at least 3–4 times a week, switching up between easy runs (for endurance), interval training (for speed) and long runs (mental endurance). Only through real structure and my plans within my ideal week, I will be able to do this.
From the WWH-Method, we can directly see the reasons and the methods for one of my most important goals. But after all, the only way I am going to achieve this is by being aware of time. The best way for me to be aware of that is by accepting that I will die and that I want to leave this Earth knowing that I have no regrets and that I have made a change.
How I can influence the world and how I can find the things that truly make me happy is a different story. But a little heads up because I surely would like to talk about this in the future. When we elaborate on actual fulfilment and happiness, we realise that we can get happiness by doing the things we like, but true fulfilment only comes from doing something good for others.
Thanks for reading today’s episode, and I will see you tomorrow. 😄
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