Today I just want to talk about a quote that I heard recently, from – I don’t know where it came across.
It was – “What you leave behind is not what’s written on your Gravestone.”
And I’ve heard several people, self-help people in the past talking about this, that you should get yourself to the end of your life, mentally speaking, put yourself in position where you’re looking at people standing over your Grave and you’re listening to all the eulogy’s.
And, basically it’s to try and, it’s an exercise of pushing yourself forward and sort of putting yourself into other people’s minds and sort of what would you like to hear them say about you, as a person, as an individual, what you achieved in life, all that kind of stuff.
I think it’s a great exercise.
It’s a great exercise for habit change because it sort of makes you think about your life and think about your habits and think abou what you’re doing, in a different light.
Especially from the perspective from the people that you care about the most and who’s opinions you care about the most, right?
For me obviously it’s my partner, my Son, my Brothers and Sisters – what they think about me – and it’s not even what they think about me, it’s the contribution that I am making in their lives, especially my Partner and my Son, but as an extension, you know, my Grandchildren obviously and as an extension on you know, my wider family my Brothers and Sisters, my Friends, people that know me well.
You know, one of the aspects that really gets to me sometimes, is just the time wasting factor
I mean, I’m fifty now and I feel like I’ve wasted a whole heap of time in the past on alcohol and not only on alcohol but because of the consequences of alcohol then, you tend to limit yourself in your wider life, you tend to limit yourself in your life because you’re tired and you don’t really want to put yourself out there.
You know, when you’ve got a hang-over, you don’t want to do anything.
The day after a hang-over, you’re still suffering from a hangover.
You still don’t want to do anything.
So, you get used to not doing anything and I got into so many different habits, over that period, over most of my life and one of them was watching TV and it’s one that I haven’t really successfully got myself out of, but this is one of the parts that I’m working on now.
Trying to do something more productive for myself.
And there’s nothing wrong with watching TV – don’t get me wrong – but I watch a lot of TV, so, you know.
This is my, turned into my, default relaxation thing.
And what I want to do is read, that’s what I enjoy doing most, it’s what I really get lost in, but because it’s a default to me, it’s a thing that just I turn to every night and I can go through three/four hours.
I mean I can go through a full day of watching a particular, if I get into a series.
Recently, re-watched Breaking Bad, I re-watched the Walking Dead, I re-watched The Game of Thrones, particularly.
And you know, I can watch one episode after another and I can really get hooked into it, you know, to the detriment of everything else.
It’s a part of my life that I really want to get a grip on and move away from.
Right, so that’s one way to look at this – “what you leave behind is not what you leave on your Gravestone, it’s what you do in your life”
You know is the time waste.
You know, look for areas of your own life where time is being sucked out, with no real gain for you.
I mean you can still relax with it, I was talking about this yesterday to Esther, that we’re sort of programmed, pre-programmed as we grow up to think about relaxation in a certain way and people say to us, well you have to relax and stuff.
So, if I say to somebody, say – “Look I’m watching too much TV, I’m doing this in the evenings and I’m watching way too much TV, I’m watching two hours of TV a night, just for instance.”
And somebody will say -“Well, no, but you have to relax you know, you have to do this, but…”
It’s the way that you relax that’s the main thing.
It doesn’t mean to say that relaxation has to be sitting on your arse doing nothing.
It can be something much more productive.
Another area that this made me think about was just in the way that we’re, we pass on to the next generation
What we do now, what we learned from before, what I learned from my parents was, alcohol drinking, cigarette smoking, was a normal part of life.
They didn’t teach that to me, they didn’t go – “Right when you get to sixteen you have to drink and you have to smoke and stuff like this.”
When I did start smoking, my Dad caught me smoking at thirteen, it was like – “You’re going to do it behind my back anyway” – this is what he said to me – “You’re going to do it behind my back anyway, so you might as well do it in front of me.”
So, he sort of made it easy for me to drink and he thought he was doing a good thing but it wasn’t a good thing, because, he just, as I say, he just made it, so that, it didn’t need any work for me to do it – I could even bum a cigarette off my Dad if I wanted to – you know?
Like I say, he didn’t mean to do any of that, my Mum didn’t mean to do anything, but that was what I was taught.
We’re all taught in our society that alcohol and cigarette smoking, not so much the cigarette smoking now, but the alcohol is the normal part of daily routine and daily lives, so that’s what you can change, with the next generation.
You can break that tie with the past, you can say to yourself, I’m not teaching my children that.
I’m not teaching my children that alcohol is in any way decent part of, a normal part of society, that drinking alcohol is in any way shape or form normal, but if you think about it, you know this is stuff that’s been going back for generations you know.
My Dad learnt it of his Dad and my Mum learnt it of her parents, my Dad learnt it of his parents, they learnt it off their Parents and so on and so forth.
So, there’s a chain of this stuff going back from, from now to, you know, going back to generations in the past.
You know, you can be the one that breaks the chain, that stops that flow of information, that bullshit information, from making any more progress into the future, it’s up to you to do that you know.
So, that’s my Video for today, it’s just what your life represents is not what is written on your Gravestone, right, at the end of the day.
Is what you do, is what you leave behind in the hearts and the minds of the people that you leave behind.
You know it’s the education that you gift to other people, right.
Your children and your Grandchildren are going to learn through mimicry right?
And what you teach them, they’re going to pass on down and they’re going to keep that chain flowing forever, you know, if nobody breaks it.
So, you can be the one who can break that particular chain, you know.
We live in a society now where smoking has, that chain has already broken, right and it’s only going to be a matter of time, before more and more people don’t do it.
In the West, anyway.
I think there’s still a big problem in poorer Countries of the world for smoking.
But you know, that’s going to be dealt with, hopefully, it will be dealt with in a likewise manner.
So anyway, that’s my Video for today. If you have any questions at all, any comments, leave them down below.
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“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone Monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others”
Until next time…
Keep the alcohol out of your mouth
Onwards and Upwards!
I think? I like the grave side reflection idea, while the stories told about me would not be negative, they would not a glowing example of an examined life. This is a dark thought, but still helpful, I think ha ha.
Socrates said the unexamined life” refers to a life lived by rote under the rules of others without the subject ever examining whether or not he truly wants to live with those routines or rules. Interestingly Socrates believed this so strongly he chose death rather than living an unexamined life.
The story was; Socrates had to agree with government of the day or leave his home town. He wasn’t prepared to leave and to just agree meant an unexamined life, so he killed himself.
Unless you have lots of resources its easy to look at this and think I’m just a biscuit in the tin, I have to go along with the masses and live by rote (the unexamined life).
But do we? We can stop drinking, this is a big positive step! this gave me about 5K a year to play with (min), this gives me years more healthy life to play with, I am fitter now than at 30.
The next question, what are going do now? Answer is live an-examined life?
Now it gets tricky, by doing what and why?
I don’t have the answer to that, maybe for some they get a calling from within and there away, bounding with enthusiasm and energy, lucky sods!
Maybe for the rest of us, our life’s work is to try and find out what not living by rote can look like for us. This could be by study or by having mini adventures or having big adventures if your brave enough or daft enough ha ha. But its not by drugging with alcohol, or numbing our brain with TV (sorry Kevin, box sets are very bad ha ha)
So I think I am taking the view to live an examined life, if we are not one of the lucky buggers with masses of resources or the even luckier buggers who have a calling from within. What we have to do is plan something, do something, then review and take more action.
(plan, do, study, act) this might start small, it might stay small.
How big your plan is depends on how far you can visualize, imagine or see. Then when we get there we will be able to see further. But progress can only be made by taking action, too much planning leads to paralysis by analysis.
So maybe your start point is one day with no TV or to do one week alcohol free. Maybe one year? that was mine.
I am 5 months in, the none drinking thing is done! I will never drink again! I need to move on. My next thing is to change my business, it bores me. This is a big thing. But I used to start new things with gusto before I drank. I now don’t drink and the old me is coming back, more and more every week. Please note: I may fuck up and regret the changes I am making, but I strongly believe if at some stage you don’t regret setting sail, maybe it wasn’t much of an adventure in the first place and if you are afraid to loose sight of the shore, you will never be much of a sailor. I may fuck up, but even if people can’t articulate at my funeral that I lived an examined life, I would like them to say he never let anything faze him, he always got stuck in and went for it. That is probably the best or the least we should go for. “An unexamined life is not worth living”. Alcohol free and proud.