Momento Mori

Remember that you must die.

One day you and I are going to die.

It’s the fate of everything that has ever lived.

I remember to think of this often.  It’s a powerful mantra.  Be here now.  Soak it up. Do not take things for granted.

And remember…..It’s OK. No need to be worried. It’s the normal way of things. Self-preservation is fine, but time spent despairing over death is better spent delighting in being alive.

Considering this keeps me on track with what is important. Generally, being mindful and noticing life. Spending time well.

Some Thoughts on Stuff

Being conscious of my mortality has also inspired me in my relationship towards buying/owning STUFF.

Possessions can be useful, even necessary. However, it seems to me that there is overconsumption that is detrimental. Too much focus on stuff can detract from truly important things.

If you buy less, you require less money. The less money you require, the less time you can spend trying to get it. Freedom in how you choose to spend your time is true wealth. It allows for the opportunity to pursue work/activity/passions that are meaningful to you (which may actually lead to making money!) Self-care – developing into the optimal version of what you can be. Travel. Relationships. Learning. You need space in your life for these. If you put yourself in a position where you MUST grind at making money or your ship sinks you diminish your opportunities.

Going into debt to buy things you don’t need steals your freedom. You are borrowing against your future self and life. You end up paying much more for things….far above their real value.

Most of us are conditioned to think we can and should own as much stuff as possible.  More is better.  Newer is better.  More expensive is better.  Bigger is better.  The culture supports this and our civilization relies on the majority believing this.  Yet there are considerable negative consequences to living this way.

A lot of what people purchase may be: To alleviate boredom. To impress other people. To build an identity.

There are more constructive and interesting things to do to deal with boredom. Things that can have lasting positive impacts on your existence.

You are not what you wear, drive, or otherwise own. Build your identity on your actions…not what you own.

I’ve never seen anyone take their possessions with them when they die.

The things we think we own are temporarily ours.

Look around.  Everything changes.  It dies, erodes, melts, dissipates, evaporates, decomposes, and so on.  Nothing lasts in one form forever. Things are transient.

I’ve thought deeply about my relationship with stuff for many years.  Through study and contemplation, I’ve gained insight into consumer culture.  How it drives the economy.  How humanity manages itself and how that interfaces with the real, natural world.  In consequence, my consumption has changed.  I’m selective and considerate of my consumption. 


  • Work to aid your quest in seeking your highest potential.  Do not work in order to simply obtain material possessions.
  • The necessities of life are few.  Most of what people spend time striving for is needless.
  • Consumption has real, measurable consequences for the health of the environment.  The health of the environment is YOUR health.
  • The stuff you own ends up owning you.
  • Practicing minimalism is a meaningful revolt against the culture of excessive consumption, and the corruption of government and corporations.
  • Voting with how you consume is more effective than voting in elections.
  • You are not your stuff.  You are not your clothing, your cosmetics, your hairstyle, your car, your house, your furnishings, etc, etc, etc.  Do not be defined by these things.
  • Being conscious of consumption takes effort.
  • You make yourself rich by making your wants few.
  • Living more in alignment with nature is a beautiful thing.  It will improve your health and well-being.  These are priceless.
  • Consumption should be in alignment with your values.  Some things are essential…such as health, learning and experiences,  nutrient-rich food, clean water, clean air, and a healthy environment.  Spend your energy in these areas and reap the benefits.
  • Immense wealth is being able to spend time in the manner of your choosing, living in health, and having a good relationship with yourself.  Everything becomes easier and more satisfying if you have these things.

These are terms for what I’ve been implementing in my life:

  • Minimalism (less consumption and owning less stuff to make room for what is truly important to me….freedom to do as I choose, and choosing what aligns with my values.)
  • Voluntary Simplicity (strategically ordering my life so as to limit complexity which seems to add stress and/or take my time away from where I want it to go)
  • Essentialism (Knowing what is truly important and focusing my attention there….getting rid of distractions from that)
  • Stoicism (THINKING – developing my rational, logical mind so I can live more harmoniously, avoid anxiety and drama, practice virtue, and live with fortitude.)

Practicing & Implementing These Ideas Has Resulted In:

  • Treating myself better.
  • Cultivation of myself: working to become better.
  • Improved health. Physical, mental, emotional.
  • Financial savings.
  • The liberation of time/energy.
  • Freedom to opt out of mainstream culture. To avoid a lifestyle that leads to illness and suffering.
  •  Empowerment through well-considered choices.  Choosing to be the change I want to see by manifesting it in myself.
  • Becoming at dealing with emotions so they don’t cause needless suffering or interfere with good judgment.
  • More resilience.  Confidence in my ability to face whatever I must come what may. A willingness to adapt and seek a way to overcome roadblocks I may encounter.
  • Acceptance that light and dark are part of the same thing and one can’t exist without the other.  Both are necessary.
  • When negative feelings arise, funnel that energy into change or something positive.
  • Recognizing that struggles help develop strength and wisdom.
  • Developing a practice of gratitude.  It’s essential to acknowledge wonderful things, the beauty, and magic of being alive.

I’m not perfect.  I’m definitely not a master of life.  But I’ve made positive and lasting changes.  I love being alive and recognizing I am here to experiment and change and change again in a quest of potential.

My YouTube Videos about Minimalism

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