Once you understand that life is finite, it gives you tremendous clarity on who and what is important in your life, which then allows you to know precisely where to direct your focus. Death can provide tremendous clarity on life and is, ultimately, the greatest impetus for leading a focused life.
Death brings everything into perspective. Family, friends, work, life itself, all fall into a natural order of priority when death beckons. Your awareness, hence your energy, is directed in a concentrated manner like never before. Not a moment is wasted. Life is lived to its fullest.
I remember a few years ago speaking at an event in Istanbul, and an entrepreneur there asked me, “Dandapani, how often do you think about dying?” I said, “To be honest with you, I hardly ever think about dying. But what I do think about a lot is that my time on Earth is finite, and because it’s finite, I prioritize my life and focus on those priorities. I figure out who and what is important in my life, and I channel my finite amount of energy with an unwavering focus to those people and things because I know I’m not going to be on this planet forever.”
Another thing that death does is it makes you think about how you want to live your life. In the final days of your life how will you look back on your life and what will you say? When my guru was dying and knew that he had only days left on this earthly plane, he said to the monks that had gathered around him, “What an amazing life. I would not have traded it for anything in the world.” What profound words to hear from a dying man; what a gift it is to be able to review your life at your point of death and know that you lived an amazing life. How many people can truly say that? Most can’t. Most can’t because they didn’t live a life of purpose. They were not clear as to what their purpose in life was, and because they were not clear on their purpose, they didn’t know what to focus on and didn’t establish their priorities.
Regardless of the philosophy or religion that you subscribe to, you have to realize that you only have one life as you. I believe in reincarnation, but even so, I know I have one life as Dandapani, and I want this life to be an amazing life.
Knowing that you will live a finite amount of time on this Earth because you will die someday, is the greatest impetus for leading a life of focus. As Gurudeva would often say, “Life is meant to be lived joyously!”. You have one life as you. Make it count. Live it in a way so that on your deathbed you can look back on your life and say to yourself “What an amazing life I lived!”