I promise you what I have to say is far less bleak than the title sounds.

The Deathbed Mentality is taking on each new day as if it were your last and thereby focussing on the most meaningful things in your life, letting go of the clutter. More on this later in this post.

I recently read an incredible fable about a bigshot millionaire lawyer who sold all his most valuable possessions (Including a Ferrari) and became a monk. Nice. In doing so, he was erased of all his bad habits and found true purpose in life. For those interested, the book is The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma.

The book refreshed my eyes on a few reoccurring principles that I have encountered in this so-called domain of how to live a happy and meaningful life. And so, I’m going to break these down for you. I don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all technique in which we should live but there are some clear universal principles that allow the body, mind, and soul to transcend into a superior form of longevity, purpose, and happiness.

Here are the top three take away messages I have seen being mentioned time and time again in numerous bestsellers and preached by the greatest inspirations.

1. Run Your Own Race

Why are we so rigidly bound to the convention? Why do we feel that we have to do things the same way as everyone else? Run your own race.

There is nothing noble about being superior to some other person. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self. - Robin Sharma (The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari)

The message here is that truly enlightened people never seek to be like others. Rather, they seek to be superior to their former selves. Don’t race against others. Race against yourself.

‘Every second you spend thinking about someone else’s dreams you take time away from your own.’ - Robin Sharma (The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari)

All I’m getting at is that if you want to improve your life and live it the way you dream each night when you shut your eyes, you must run your own race. It doesn’t matter what other people say about you. What is important is what you say to yourself. Every moment stuck pursuing convention is time wasted. Don’t measure your self-worth against someone’s net-worth.

2. The Deathbed Mentality

When you adopt a deathbed mentality you live every day as if it was your last. Imagine waking up every day and asking yourself the question, ‘What would I do today if it was my last?’ You will naturally form a list of your most passionate goals and think about people that mean the most to you. Picture how productive and excited you would be to live every moment pursuing these things only. The deathbed question alone has the power to change one’s life.

Robin Sharma believes that, since time is the most precious commodity on Earth, we have to wisely spend our time doing high-impact and meaningful activities.

I don’t think we should take this principle too literally. For example, one of my ambitions is to live in Japan for 3-months and visit all of the major cities. Not sure I can quite do that waking up tomorrow - (a) covid and (b) exams/more demanding priorities.

But, by keeping this mentality in mind we can certainly benefit from eliminating wasteful thinking and negativity in each day. We can stop squandering time on all those petty small things that drag us down into a swamp of crisis and chaos.

3. The Life Framework

For one to reap the maximum benefits of the above two principles, they must fall into a wider framework for life. Here, I want to bring to light the seven timeless virtues of enlightened living as established by Robin Sharma in his fable. They are:

  1. Master your mind.
  2. Follow your passion.
  3. Practice kaizen.
  4. Live with discipline.
  5. Respect your time.
  6. Selflessly serve others.
  7. Embrace the present.

Now there’s a lot more to this than the above. Including a component of essential minimalism, spirituality, and stoicism. But the main take away here is that to live a life rich in fulfilment, happiness and self-enlightenment, we should carve out a system that works for us and stick to it.

Wtf is kaizen you might ask?

Kaizen is the Sino-Japanese word for ‘improvement’ and often spoken about in the business world to continuously improve workflows. But let’s focus on the self-expansion and growth meanings. It is the act of improving every aspect of oneself ceaselessly and continuously. With time, things that were once difficult become easy and you even uncover your own hidden capabilities.

Summary

Don’t race against others. Race against yourself. Live to eliminate as much negativity as possible from each day by deploying The Deathbed Mentality. Carve out a personal Life Framework that aims to comply with the universal principles of happiness and fulfilment as much as possible but also sits right with you in regards to your personal goals.

If you enjoyed this post then you should consider reading: Ikigai, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***, and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.


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