Memento Mori

art of encore living personal development stoicism Jan 17, 2022
Creative On Purpose
Memento Mori

Begin with the end in mind.

It's an idea often credited to the author and businessman Stephen Covey, but it’s been around much longer than he has.

Beginning with the end in mind encourages you to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination and step purposefully into it.

The author Steven Pressfield reference the idea of beginning with the end in mind as an old screenwriter’s principle. Begin with the climax and work your way back.

For me, the most potent approach to the idea of starting with the end in mind is woven into the ancient practice articulated by the Latin phrase “memento mori”—remember you die.

The Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius framed it this way, “Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what is left and live it properly.”

Is there any more powerful call to live well while you can?

Søren Kierkegaard, a theologian, philosopher, and poet, reminds us that “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”

However, when we begin with our ultimate end in mind, we are encouraged to set intentions on purpose and live into them with purpose.

What happens if you start your day today with your ultimate end in mind? How might you befriend your inevitable demise to make a bigger difference with whatever time you have left?

Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose

If this resonates, please share it with a friend!