Waves Crashing against Rocks

Accepting Death unlocks the mindset of living a fuller life

Death is one of those topics that you should never talk about even if you are constantly thinking about it. It’s like thinking your sister-in-law is hot, you can think about it all you want but NEVER say it out loud.

If you want to talk about death, one of two things will happen:

  • they assume you are dying. People start acting weirdly around you. It is understandable because when you talk openly about something it is mostly the case that you are undergoing it. That is the difference between having thoughts to yourself and saying it out loud because in the latter you are seeking validation of your thoughts for something that you need to act on.
  • they think it is contagious and shut down the topic as soon as you start it. The most common phrases are “Don’t be negative”, and “Don’t bring down the energy in the room”. You don’t want to be the person who brings down the energy of a group and most certainly you don’t want to be the person who spreads death.

I was also in a similar situation. I had a lot of ideas, and confusion about death and I did not have a certain group/person to bounce ideas off of. If you are also in a similar state, then let me be that friend to you whom I never had. 

For people who have already started assuming I am dying, at the time of writing this, I am not. With that in mind, here is my relationship with death.

Death and I

For some backstory, I am a pretty ambitious guy and wanted to make a lot of money. I have always been fascinated with the idea of it, ways to make money and store it. I had started numerous small businesses and had so much fun doing them. 

I made enough money to take care of my monthly expenses but wasn’t satisfied with it as my goal was to make a LOT of money even though I never had an idea about how much is ‘a lot’. 

I was waiting for that million-dollar idea to flash in my mind, what’s better is I was completely sure that it would hit me and it was just a matter of time. 

So I wanted to be prepared with every possible skill I would need to act on that idea. I learned to build websites, set up payment portals, digital marketing, copywriting, designing, the art of negotiation, psychology, etc.

Then I started wondering about the kind of spark I ‘will’ get. What if it was of a greater magnitude than I could imagine? So I started studying philosophy to prepare my mind for that ‘inevitable’ moment. 

As I started going through different ideas in philosophy, I landed on an interesting way to help people overcome the fear of taking risks. It mentioned that the very fact that you are going to die is the only reason you need not fear doing anything. 

If fear or ‘what if’ kind of thoughts appear in your head, use death as the motivating factor to keep those thoughts aside and just start doing it.

To use death for your benefit you need to be in a state where you accept death. You cannot use something in any way if you fear it.

Finding comfort in the inevitability of death

I did not fear death as I never thought about it before long enough to even have an opinion on it. I was in the notion that it was something to think about in my 70s because now is the time to make riches.

As I started thinking about death, I did not fear or worry about it, instead, I realized it was special. 

If life never ends there is nothing special about it. A trip is only special if it ends, if it doesn’t then it is just every other day. 

Death gives meaning to everything in life. The fact that people are not going to be around forever makes relationships special and gives them meaning. You only value things that are scarce and death makes life scarce. 

When a new life is born, you cannot promise that soul anything like success, laughter, joy, love, care, friendships, happiness, and contentment. The only thing you can promise is ‘Death’. Death is always part of the deal.

Death is what life gifts you on your arrival into this world. Do what you wish with it. 

I realized that the ‘spark’, the million-dollar idea I believed to be a guarantee, actually isn’t.

In a world of unknowns all around us, disparities, discriminations, status games – death is the only guaranteed event all of us will experience. Its inevitability isn’t scary, rather it is more comforting. 

This understanding of comfort accelerated my feeling of acceptance toward death when I was in my early 20s, a pretty young age. 

This opened up my vision to the perils of this acceptance – Nihilism.

Death and Nihilism

The acceptance of something inevitable like death should give meaning to my actions but rather I found myself questioning every action of mine. 

If you question the worth of every act, you are going to find that almost everything in life is pointless. 

As a former highly motivated person, I found myself lacking the drive to do anything. 

I began thinking about my legacy, about what I am leaving behind in this world – first of all you need to do something to have anything worth a legacy. But then again I lacked the drive to even work on my legacy. 

Then you start to question the point of having a legacy after you are gone. Soon enough you start to fear that all you’re leaving behind is a way for people to kill off every ounce of motivation they have. 

It is a vicious loop.

This was a weird time in my life. I was sleepwalking through days, questioning the importance of every action and I became the poster boy for inaction. 

This is when I came across a book, ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ by Mitch Albom. This is about the writer’s old professor who in his last days teaches one last course to the writer every Tuesday and the course is about the meaning of life.

At various points throughout the book, the professor talks about death and how to deal with it. There was one line in the book that resonated with me, it goes 

“We try to make a certain peace with dying so that we can do the hard part which is to make peace with living”

Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom

Make peace with living? What does that mean and why exactly do we need to make peace with it?

Make peace with living


That is one word we all should stay away from. It sucks the joy out of anything in life and makes sorrows harder to deal with.

A classic example would be a person diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. The most common thought they all have is, ‘Why me?’. Then they start blaming everything around them and in the end hating life itself.

It is at this point that humans fail to realize that they too are a part of nature. Just because they are superior to other animals does not mean they are superior to nature itself. 

Nature works in mysterious ways. The results of nature’s work are described using many words – coincidence, destiny, fate, and my personal favorite, magic!

A secret component of nature’s work is time. Tom Hanks summed it up perfectly in the below video. “This too shall pass! Just give it time”

The random events caused by nature along with time are such a deadly combo because both of them direct our lives more than we can understand and the best part is humans have no way of controlling either one. 

In such an unpredictable world, we are not promised anything. We should accept this randomness and never fear anything that life throws our way.  

Even if life gives you the most tragedy known to humankind, never show resentment or even entertain the thought of it for a second. You can feel sad or disgusted about how it all turned out but never feel that you are being treated unfairly which is the cause for resentment. 

Feeling this way causes you to detach yourself from the problem and likewise the solution. More often than not this leads to a downward spiral.

Instead, be present and think about what you can do with what is in front of you. If it gets too much for you to handle, look around you and be thankful for the good things that life has given you, and just push through because “This too shall pass”.

In all the randomness, death is also one of those events that life will throw at us. Never show resentment, it just makes everything worse. Accept it and try to leave the world a little better than how you found it. 

The courage to not resent life even in the face of death is the idea of making peace with living. 

This changed my idea of what it means to accept death. It is not to help us go after everything in life fearlessly, it is to help us understand that not everything in life will go our way and that is ok. 

Wherever you are in life, whatever your problems are, stop worrying about the future and take some time out to enjoy the moment. In all this randomness, that moment is all we have for now. 


I am not going to bullshit you guys that I changed completely after I read that book. NO! 

Those lines stayed with me. I couldn’t understand it at first. But as I kept going on with life, I started thinking about it from different angles. It took a lot of mindset changes for me to accept that.

The concept of staying away from resentment and finding joy in the moment removed the fears I had about some stupid legacy and slowly elevated myself from feelings of Nihilism.

I started enjoying work one day at a time and stopped worrying about the results. I no longer wait for that spark.

I finally found what ‘a lot’ of money is for me, it is the amount just enough to take care of my basic needs and a little more to help me make people around me feel special, like gifting them something they always wanted. 

I am not saying that I am going to shun the thought if I do get that spark. But this time I will act on it with a different perspective.

Not with success in mind but for the process, for enjoying the moments along the way. 

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