Daily Journey – December 1st: Pretend Today is the End

The month of December is focused on “Meditation on Mortality”

The profession of arms (military service) is distinguished from other professions by the ultimate liability clause. This is the willingness we develop to put our lives at risk, and even sacrifice our lives if necessary for our country, our team, and our mission. Because of this, I don’t think it is very hard for us to pretend today is the end… we think about this possibility often. Not only that, we are taught to (and sometimes required) to act on it.

Before deployments we set our affairs in order. We reach out to those we care about. We train and prepare for the worst case scenario. This has to be an honest and sometimes hard conversation in order to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the stress of facing the realities of the ultimate liability clause every day.

For a lot of us there are subtle changes on the other side of deployments. We hug our kids longer. We say I love you more frequently. We find other ways to serve each other, our families, and our communities. I think we do this because we have come closer to how fragile and fleeting life can be. We didn’t have to pretend today was the end, we lived some of those days face to face with the potential end.

From my perspective this challenge, to pretend today is the end… can have some real effects in your life. Take a serious look at what you need to do to put your life in order. Reach out to your family and friends. Put your time and energy into what is most important to you. Focus on the real value you add to those around you, and at the end of the day reflect on what you need to do to stay in the game as long as you.

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Daily Journey is a collection of my thoughts from reading The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living.  My objective is to gain greater control of my emotional responses by reading and sharing my thoughts on stoicism with you all everyday over the course of a next year.  If you would like to explore these topics with me, and others who are seeking to gain emotional control I these articles to the Mastery of Skill closed facebook group and would love for you to join in on the conversation.

Live Skillfully!

-Jon

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