“Remembering I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already dead. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs
It is the fear of losing “it” that makes most people hold on to tight, play a cautious game. In his essay, “Our Feelings Reach Out Beyond Us,” Montaigne says it is fear, desire and hope that “project us toward the future and steal from us the feeling and consideration of what is.” These feelings of fear, desire, and hope trap us into spending to much of thoughts on what we imagine will be.
Plato’s remedy for this is to “do thy job and know thyself.” And as Montaigne says “he who would do his job would see that his first lesson is to know what he is and what is proper for him.” And once you know yourself, you will know longer spend time on irrelevant busy-ness and refuse “superfluous occupations and useless thoughts and projects.”
Love and cultivate yourself before anything else as Montaigne reminds us to do.