3-2-1 Mindset Mondays

Hello lovely readers and welcome back to Mindset Mondays! The only weekly post that doesn’t completely hate itself…

Following a 3-2-1 approach, it contains 3 thoughts from me (that you should ignore), 2 quotes from others (that you should read), and 1 thing I’ve been reading, watching or listening to this week that has helped me grow.

As a bonus I’ve finished with 1 joke that’s so bad, it’s good.

Let’s begin!

(As a way to give credit and to say thank you, I’ve linked back to any posts that have inspired my thoughts. I’ve linked back to any quotes I’ve found as well.)


3 x Thoughts:

1) One needs to accept life as it stands today. Radically. In all of its fucked-up glory. And then act in whatever capacity one can to better his or her circumstances. But even that shouldn’t come at the expense of appreciating what one currently has. As a rule for life, I suggest you practice gratitude long before you start hoping in the morning.

2) Maybe we should imagine losing our loved ones in a car accident tomorrow? Maybe we should take the time to imagine losing everything we hold dear? Maybe imagining the worst is exactly what brings what’s right in front of us, sharply into focus? Maybe meditating on our mortality, our own inevitable demise is exactly what gives us freedom in the present? Maybe it’s doing this which reminds us how good we actually have it right now? Maybe we will find more joy in everyday life by embracing these difficult emotions rather than chasing after a bigger pay check or slimmer waistline? What do you think?

3) The next time you get angry at your racist grandfather – or any elderly person who appears to be stuck in his or her ways – consider the possibility that their contempt has less to do with what they believe than it does their inability to come to terms with their own mortality. This knowledge might just give you the strength to return love for hate.


2 x Quotes:

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.

Mark Twain

Even if you’re going to live three thousand more years, or ten times that, remember: you cannot lose another life than the one you’re living now, or live another one than the one you’re losing. The longest amounts to the same as the shortest. The present is the same for everyone; its loss is the same for everyone; and it should be clear that a brief instant is all that is lost. For you can’t lose either the past or the future; how could you lose what you don’t have?”

— Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)

1 x Thing:

1) This Psychology Today article: Why We Fear Death and How to Overcome It. As the title suggest this article explores some surprising reasons behind why it is some of us fear death (and why others don’t). It also outlines 4 ways (listed below) to overcome your own fear of mortality.

  1. Help to nurture and raise younger generations: “The term “generativity” refers to a concern for younger people and a desire to nurture and guide them. When older people have a greater sense of generativity, they tend to also look back on their life without regret or anguish. This, understandably, leads to having less fear of death.”
  2. Talk about it: It turns out that avoidance (surprise surprise) causes it to loom larger in our minds. Like all fears its best to bring them into the light. Don’t avoid the topic – talk about. Imagine it. Prepare for its inevitably.
  3. Have a (simulated) out of body or near death experience: Perhaps seeking out a near death experience isn’t the greatest advice but trying to have an out of body experience (via deep meditation for example) can yield similar results. The idea is that it gives us the sense that we live on even when separated from out bodies.
  4. Cultivate greater meaning in your life: Studies show that those who feel they are living a meaningful life are less afraid of death. I suggest you start by defining your values and then looking to see how you can better build your life around them.

1 x Joke:

Struggling for a good joke this week so thought I’d leave you with another far side comic. Hope you enjoy!


Thanks ladies and gentlemen. I’m here all week As always I welcome ALL thoughts and opinions on this blog. Please let us know below.

One bonus question to ponder:

Is it death that you fear, or not having lived in the first place?


PREVIOUS MONDAY POST:

Mindset Mondays – 15/02/21

34 thoughts on “3-2-1 Mindset Mondays

  • AP, very meaningful post. I am enjoying my life and am not anxious to die. It does give me comfort to think I can choose death if life becomes unbearable.

    I learned that attitude from my late husband who was a quadriplegic and struggled to stay alive for the sake of his young children. He was an advocate for assisted dying for disabled people and presented an amicus brief on that issue before the US Supreme Court. But he never tried to avail himself of that option.

    All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cheryl. I’m an advocate for assisted dying (in certain circumstances) as well. I believe it can be the more humane thing to do. I’m far less scared of death than I am of suffering before hand. Of being an unnecessary burden to my family.

      I’m sorry to hear about what happened with your late husband. That must have difficult. Clearly he was a very courageous man. I sincerely hope you’re doing well Cheryl 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  • Another thought-provoking Monday. I’m one of the fortunate ones who can respond to your bonus question in the negative; I don’t fear death nor do I have regrets about my life. And … I wish I could agree with you about Thought #3. I don’t think for a minute that racist attitudes are related to fearing death, but good try!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jane. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Maybe you don’t fear death precisely because you have loved your life (which is awesome)!

      Re thought #3 – I don’t think racist views are related to a fear death per se but that a fear of death strengthens our world views – however contemptuous they may or may not be. My point is that expressing those strongly held views more aggressively with age might have more to do with a fear of death beneath the surface. The same way we have seen so much more hate around the world during this global pandemic. I believe there is a strong link in that sense. That said I do believe there is a strong relationship between hate and fear of death. It’s about eliminating perceived threats to ones life (or ego). All emotions exists for a reason. I believe hate is about eliminating the other in order to protect the tribe. My over simplified theory anyway.

      Wishing you well Jane. 🙏

      Like

      • Interesting theory, AP2. Personally, I don’t even understand the fear of death. I understand the fear of suffering and I understand the fear of the death of loved ones, but I’m not sure why I would fear my own death. I just wouldn’t be here anymore. As for hatred and fear of death, that’s absolutely beyond me, unless you mean hating an oppressor because they’re going to kill you and your community. As for increased hatred at the moment, I don’t think that’s a result of the pandemic. Having the former leader of the world’s (currently) most powerful nation spend years actively encouraging open hatred and lack of civility has a profound and frightening impact., including beyond those borders. Permission was granted to be as nasty and cruel as you liked, especially if you were white. Sad beyond belief.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think you have that right attitude towards death. That said I suspect you still look both ways when you cross the road. Fear of death drives a huge amount of our decisions without us even knowing. Of course we have to protect this one life. That’s why a fear of death is useful. However I believe we need to come to terms with the fact that death will happen to us at some point. So that we can live free from a consuming fear that it certainly generates in some people. To do that I believe we need to mentally prepare to accept it when it happens. The idea that we simply cease to exist is the right attitude but that’s very hard for a lot of people. The idea of having to give up everything that they love. I can certainly understand why others have difficulty with that.

        Regarding hate and fear of death think about this. Increased Islamophobia often follows terrorist attacks. Racism against Black minorities often follows violent crime committed by black people shown by the media. Racism against the Asian community follows when the former fear monger in chief dubs COVID the “Kung Flu.” I believe fear of death at its deepest level has a great deal to do with hate. Another reason to come to terms with ones mortality is to fight the irrational fears driving their hatred. I’m not alone in my thinking. There’s a theory called Terror Management Theory. It posits that when people are reminded of their own death their views often swing to the right. Thousands of studies have be shown to confirm it. I think you’re right that Trump – his fear mongering serving to remind people of their own mortality – has been a big part of the problem. I happen to believe the pandemic – another big reminder of our own mortality – has simply added to that in a big way this past year.

        Thanks you for sharing your thoughts Jane. I really enjoy having these kinds of conversations. Hopefully I’ve given you something to think about! Wishing you well 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

      • No worries Jane. I understand that it’s too simplistic to say that a fear of death is the reason for hate. I simply believe it’s at least part of the explanation behind the rise in hate. On the flip side I also believe we have seen a strengthening of love in others as well. Being aware of our mortality works both ways. Anyway enough said. Take it easy Jane. Hope you have a wonderful week. 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  • Another thought-provoking article, AP2–thanks very much! As for “death,” once you know that everything–including your ‘dream’ body-mind and its “story” is but a dream, there is absolutely nothing to fear. It’s just “story time.” Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Art! I think for many people the idea of having to give up that dream – the people and things they have come to love within that dream – is very hard. They’re too attached to said dream as a result. Of course we must all learn to let go of it all if we are to live with the freedom we desire. Cheers Art 🙏

      Like

      • You’re welcome, AP2. I hear what you’re saying, but ultimately if we are forfeiting an illusion, then what is truly lost? And “What” is truly gained–immortality as Spirit–for All of those who know. Thanks for sharing your insights! Truly appreciated!

        Liked by 1 person

      • It certainly helps to remove those difficult emotions. What is there to worry about then? I guess the difficulty is shattering that illusion in the first place. Cheers Art.

        Like

      • Yes, it does. I think your point (“What is there to worry about then?”) is well made! And “who” would be suffering any of the “apparent” occurrences in a “seemingly” personal life? No one! Haha–the cosmic joke, only when you know What–not who–you truly are.
        Thanks, AP2–truly a pleasure to share back and forth. Deep gratitude. 🙏🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  • Wow..what a valuable insight here…we all set ourselves free from the grasp of death the moment we become fearless and face life the way it is..it is actually both closer and far but it doesn’t matter cos we don’t care since we r not afraid n start to live in the now…thank you so much for sharing your thoughts…

    Liked by 1 person

  • “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”

    The Mark Twain quote is very profound. I don’t think – not that I’ve thought about it too often – I fear death but I definitely fear the death of my loved ones. Those dreams, from time to time, are always the worst.

    That comic joke is so bad! 🤣 But I can imagine these conversations really happening amongst hospital staff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I love that quote. Interestingly I was reading about something the stoics use to practise called negative visualisation- The idea is that you imagine losing what you value the most in life in order to help eradicate that fear. Like mediating on your own death. The beauty of practising such a meditation is that it serves to lessen the emotional impact when difficult losses actually take place. Simply because you’ve already considered it. It helps you to accept and move on if
      (when) it does happen. But it also has another hidden benefit. It helps to cultivate a much greater amount of gratitude for those people in our lives. We become less interested in always wanting more and more appreciative of what we already have.

      Glad you enjoyed the joke! It’s a dark one for sure. Wishing you and yours well Ab 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      • The negative visualization is an interesting premise. Not quite sure it’s something for me at this current moment with the pandemic, haha, but it’s certainly an approach towards gratitude that I have not considered before. Thanks for sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

  • As much as I’d like to say I don’t fear death because I try to live my life to the fullest every day, I still do fear death. Maybe it’s a subtle reminder to me that life is never guaranteed. Marcus Aurelius said, “Be content with what you are, and wish not for change, nor dread your last day, nor long for it.” Can you be content with who you are but still ‘dread’ your last day? Are the polar opposites or can they coincide together?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ellen! I don’t think I fear death so much as the possibility of having to suffer before hand. If it simply ended what would I even know about it? Of course I still look both ways when we cross the road!

      It’s a great question you raise – can you be content in this life without first coming to terms with your own mortality? I don’t know the answer to that. I think when we’re content we aren’t thinking about death – we are simply present, in the moment. Perhaps those who have lived life to the fullest are happy to say goodbye when their time is up because they’ve had a blast – they’re simply grateful for what they’ve been given? Perhaps those who haven’t figured out how to live life to the fullest fear death the most? Precisely because they haven’t figured out how to do that – and don’t want to leave before they have?

      Like

  • Hello brother.
    Well wishes for you and your family.

    I thought I felt weird for imagining my worst case scenarios like losing loved ones, losing every possession I have and even losing my life. How it would be after the two former because after the later, well no one actually knows and few will care. But now I have come to see that it inspires gratitude of what I have know as I continuously remind myself that they will not be here forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers brother – wishing you and your family the same.
      It’s a powerful exercise imagining the worst – I’ve started incorporating into my daily mediation practise. It really works well for cultivating gratitude.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you. I’m less scared of death than I am of fucking up this one life that I have. I wonder though if there is a link? Perhaps those who have really learnt how to live life to the fullest are the ones who fear death the least? A thought worth pondering. 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

      • I like to think there is. In my opinion, people don’t fear death but the possibility of life ending without having left a meaningful legacy behind. Maybe one hasn’t fully secured their child’s future, another fears leaving their ailing parents/family member because no one else might care for them… But if you have taken care of everything for your people, made sure that in case of your departure everything will be okay, then you may have nothing to fear…

        Like

  • I don’t fear death at all for myself … whatever … I have already faced it, it already terrorized me so that does not phase me now.

    I do fear death for the loss of my mom. But that’s only because I do not want that to happen. I fear it because I can’t stop it!!

    Plus… I am around death a lot – it has helped me process my own losses ❤️

    I do not want to tempt fate or death lol … but I am not afraid of death – just in the case of losing my mom at the moment – that makes me afraid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Funnily enough that article I linked to mentions a study that found those who work in funeral parlours or at hospitals have much healthier relationships with death. I guess those who have spent a lot time facing the prospect of death would be forced to come to terms with it otherwise the suffering would become even more unbearable?

      I sympathise with your fear for your mom. I also fear for my parents at the moment. I want my children to remember their grandparents – I don’t want them to go before they’re at an age where they will remember them.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Trisha 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  • That last quote brings the common thought to mind: you’ll probably regret more what you didn’t do than what you did. I try and live this out, and work on doing it better every day.

    Engaging with thoughts about death, I have no fear of my own, but know I will feel sadness when others close to my die. This is both heartening, to know I love people in my life this much, and also sobering. This life is temporary, and we must live it until its gone – nobody is going to do that for us, not even God!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Hamish. A strong part of getting over our fear of death is to serve a higher purpose. We need faith in a greater good. We need to fill this one life with as meaning as we possible can. I know that you are doing exactly that which is awesome Hamish. Thanks for stopping by and always showing your support. Means a lot brother. Keep on keeping on. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

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