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In my desire to be better I’ve looked at different philosophies I could add to my life.  One of the ones I’ve loved the most is Stoicism.  There’s a lot to this philosophy, and I won’t try to define it all here as I’m still learning.  But there are two important principles I’ve learned that I would like to share today.  Amor Fati and Memento Mori.

Amor Fati is Latin for “Love of Fate.”  In our daily life it’s easy to wish for better.  If only I were thinner.  Wouldn’t it be nice if I had more money.  I’d be better off if I had his charm.  The thing is that all of these wishes envision a better you in a future down the road when some other condition has been met.  That’s bad for two reasons.  First, if you have to wait for the condition to be happy then you aren’t being happy now.  And that’s a sad way to live your life.  Second, it suggests that we are at the whim of events outside our control.  Also a sad way to live your life.  Amor Fati suggests we should be happy with the hand we are dealt.  When we can learn to be happy with out current situation, no matter what it is, we’ll be happy of course.  And more importantly we’ll be in control because we’ve decided to be happy at all times.

The second concept seems a bit morbid, but it’s a great principle to live your life under.  Memento Mori is Latin for “Remember you will die.”  The idea of memento mori isn’t to go around dwelling on death at all times in a fatalistic view that it doesn’t matter because you’ll expire soon enough.  Instead it’s a reminder of the importance of the here and now.  When you remember that you can die at any time it serves as a reminder to always choose your actions well.  Think about what you did today.  If you were to go to sleep tonight and not wake up, would you be happy with your last day on Earth?  What might you change?  What things do you know you should have done, but didn’t?  Memento mori isn’t about living your life in fear that you will die, it’s about living your life well at all times because it’s a reality that one day in the future will be your last.

So practice a little stoicism in your life.  In the days to come practice a love of fate.  Don’t wish for the best, be the best you can in all circumstances.  And if you’re having trouble living up to the concept of Amor Fati, keep in mind Memento Mori.  Make each day the best day you can because you never know when it could be your last.  If you live your life by Amor Fati and Memento Mori all your days until that last will be happy ones.  Have a stoic day.


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