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Memento Mori

Limited time. The ticking clock.

It was an ancient Roman tradition to celebrate a victorious battle by parading the military generals through the streets on four-horse chariots. The crowds would look upon these men as deities; their soldiers would idolize them. However, during this procession, a servant would accompany each general, continually whispering in their ear, “Respice post te. Hominem te esse memento. Memento mori!” (“Look behind you. Remember that you are a man. Remember that you will die!”)

Do not forget that you are mortal either – that any breath may be your last. Let this realization be a driving force in your life. To build anything of significance, it will require patience. Make important decisions methodically and build slowly, brick by brick.

But when you lack motivation, remember your death. When you start getting upset over the small things, remember your death. When you feel that your anxiety is taking over and preventing you from moving forward, please remember.

Make each decision as if you were on your deathbed. Life is too short not to tell them you love them. Start the business. Make the difficult call. Have courage, for you will soon be but a memory of the actions you took – and the actions you didn’t take.

“Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility You have created all humanity! Who can live and not see death, or who can escape the power of the grave?” (Psalm 89: 47-48)

“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” (Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in ‘Meditations’)


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