When last did you think of the terror of death? Today? Yesterday or minutes ago? More often, I think of how to fulfil my purpose 6 days in a week and 19 hours in a day. I know death is inevitable and unpredictable, but how can I avoid dying with my unique contribution to the world? Everyday, this question helps me to remember the need to die free of my best work. The need to die empty.
If you patiently read this blog post till the end, you will learn the seven ways to die empty by overcoming the perils of mediocrity. While die empty means many things to different people, Todd Henry in his book – die empty sees dying empty as a means of overcoming the lust of mediocrity which chokes the value in a person.
Mediocrity presents itself in different ways. Majorly as aimlessness, boredom, comfort, delusion, ego, fear and guardedness.
Aimlessness chokes value in a person through a lack of clear direction. Most times, it may not mean that one has nothing to do. At all times, it means that a person does not have a value worth suffering for. The best antidote to been aimless is to find your passion and dedicate your work to it.
When you get a passion and a goal, with time, there is a high tendency to experience boredom. You can overcome this tendency by becoming extremely curious in your daily work. Ask questions, get answers and relate the answers to your own work.
This will require you to step out of your comfort zone where everything seems to be okay and fine. The danger of staying in the comfort zone is that it gives false sense of okayness and depreciation of abilities.
Delusion can give a false sense of strengths. Sometimes, delusion occurs when well-meaning individuals make us believe we are capable of doing things not in line with our passion. This false way of strength cuts our innate ability to act on our intuition and follow our innate goals. A proven way that stops delusion is the way of knowing. Know thyself. Your strengths and weaknesses. Your values and beliefs. Then, build your values around them.
Personal ego occurs when a person desires to be right always and a has a desire to prove it at all cost. In contrast to confidence, when ego takes over, there is a limit to the degree of work to contribute to the world. The best way to overcome ego is to cultivate adaptability to different situations and different people.
Once ego leaves, fear will stop by taking daily, calculated risk.
When we overcome fear, there is no need to be alone and guard against others. The best form of work comes out in community settings. Once fear is not in place, it is safe to engage others in conversations of expectations. Learn to know what others expect from you and communicate your expectations to them too.
If you take all these steps seriously, it may not stop you from thinking about the reality of death, but it will give you the hope that, when you die, you leave this world empty of your best work. You die empty.