What is the Best Version of Myself?
If you’re reading this article, you are looking for one thing: How to live. How to be the best version of yourself. What it means to be living your best life.
This is a question I have obsessively contemplated since my Father passed during COVID in 2020. He died from an 11-year battle with cancer. I was 19 years old at the time. My father’s relationship to me was one not many are blessed to have.
He was my best friend at the time. The friend I spent the most time around. The friend I would say the most to. The friend I would run to when I needed answers. The closest thing anyone could have to a friend. The friend that was always present with you. The friend that only wanted to help you. To help you find more happiness.
It pains me to put this in writing, but my father’s passing will always be the biggest blessing of my life. How can this possibly be? Losing my father was the most excruciating suffering I have, and probably ever will experience. It makes me sick to even remember what it was like at the time of August 2020.
Learn How to Die
But it taught me the most important lesson I will ever know: Death.
If you want to learn how to live, you have to learn how to die.
There is no greater teacher than death. There is nothing else in this world that will have a bigger magnitude of enriching your life than death. Nothing will ever lead you to more true answers that you so constantly search for than death. Death is the beginning of everyone finding their best selves.
How can this be?
Death is the seed that forces you to look for the answers that matter. Why doesn’t everyone use death to change their life? Because it’s something everyone is running from. We fear death. We fear death because it is the closest thing to the unknown, and it is likely to be one of the only things we will ever not know.
Because of this, we push death away. We avoid contemplating death at all costs. Because it is scary. Knowing our existence will come to an end and may never be again is truly terrifying. But this truly terrifying contemplation is what gives beauty and meaning to life. Without death, there is no life.
The day you accept your death is completely out of your control and something that could happen at any moment is the day you start being the best version of yourself. And if you continue to keep death close, you continuously top your best self from the previous day. Keeping death close is the most enriching thing someone can do with their life.
You Will Die Today
Most days I love to write on my whiteboard, “You will die today.”
Not really. This reminder allows me to be the best version of Jack Huml. By keeping death close in every moment, and every action I take, it forces me to only focus on what matters.
For example, if you don’t keep death close (like the majority of the people on this planet), you will likely think about the past and future quite often. Because why not? We have all the time in the world.
You’re going to live til 80 right? Wrong. You are no more obligated to live longer than anyone else you encounter each day. This is called a personal fable. You think you’re special. You think you won’t be the one to get into the statistically high car crashes each day. You won’t be the young adult to find a tumor in your brain. You won’t be the person to not wake up from their sleep. And on and on it goes.
This isn’t some ploy to scare you. That is certainly not what I am trying to do. I am trying to help put your life into perspective. By keeping the perspective of death close, you live a life closer to everything you are possibly capable of.
Because I keep death so close each day, I go to sleep trying to remind myself that I might not wake up in the morning. If I don’t wake up in the morning, I better have made sure I lived a day true to myself and something I am very satisfied going out with. Now this doesn’t mean I have perfect days, but if I had a day where I kept these things in perspective, I have served myself well in living my best possible life.
What Matters When You Keep Death Close
What matters to me because I keep death so close: (And likely similar answers that you will all find if you start implementing, “You will die today.”)
- Happiness – Nothing else matters. Everything everyone is looking for whether it’s a better job, more accomplishments, more money, better cars, better clothes, whatever it is, it’s all looking for happiness. So stop focusing on the illusion of the material and actually focus on growing what’s underneath everything you are searching for. You can’t take this approach if you don’t keep death close. If you feel like you have lots of time, you will trick yourself quite easily into thinking other things matter more than happiness.
- Presence – If you’re not present you will not be happy. NOW is all that ever matters. Why? Because it’s all that ever exists. You can’t have the future or past without the present. The future and past are simply just present-moment thoughts. The present is the only time when something truly in your control can happen. All of your sufferings come from you thinking about what is outside the present moment. What’s the most important thing to focus on in your life? Now. What is the most important thing to do in your life? What you’re doing right now. Who are the most important people in your life? The ones you are with. Focus on now because that is all we ever have. And you can’t take this approach if you don’t keep death close.
- Growth – The only point of suffering is to learn and grow. If you don’t keep death close, you will likely obsess over your past, current, or future sufferings. By living a life knowing you will die today, you will only focus on one thing: being the best version of yourself now. And that my friends… is all growth is.
- Serving Others – If you keep death close, you realize the difference between worldly and heavenly treasures. You can’t take money after death. You can’t take your popularity after death. You can’t take your material items after death. So what can you take? How you make others feel and how you help others find more happiness. And guess what… this is the number one way to help grow your own happiness. I like to call this the everlasting happiness loop. To find more happiness yourself, you help others find it, which helps you find more of it, which helps others find more of it. All of this isn’t possible if you don’t believe you could die each day.
- The Only True Controllable – Your present moment conscious response. You can’t control anything else in your life, literally nothing. How you choose to respond is all you have. So if you don’t keep death close, are you really going to keep strict care on if you’re responding to things in the best possible way you can at the time? Likely not. If you are death conscious, you will intentionally put forth your best effort to respond in the right way in all present situations.
Nothing to Fear
Now some of you may be saying, I still don’t want to die. Telling myself I am going to die each day still really scares me, even if it does help me live a better life. What if there is no afterlife? What if the religion I believe is wrong? What if the other religion is right? What if the afterlife isn’t what everyone thinks it is going to be? What if the afterlife is literally nothing? For all eternity? What if the scientists were right all this time?
Below is something I have had saved in my Macbook for quite a while now. Hopefully, this can help with some of the constant questions I have above:
“Death is not something to fear, no matter which angle you look at it. It is actually a topic we need to start talking about more. We live such fast busy lives because we are subconsciously trying to avoid the fact that we are mortal just like any other species. Talking about and pondering death more will bring profound changes to our society, especially happiness. We will live deeper the more we remind ourselves that we are going to die and that anything can happen at any given moment. Everyone reading this including myself is going to die!
If I die young, don’t fear for me. I am free from suffering. I am free from the human condition. If there is eternal life or rebirth, I likely made the cut. I tried to do my best to live as intentionally as I could for the betterment of others, with a pure heart, just like my father. By tyring to be a good person, I believe I gave myself a great probability of making the afterlife. I believe the heart is what matters if the unknown is eternal life as many perceive.
If there isn’t eternal life, that is still perfectly okay. I will still be with all of you, just like my father is with all of us. Until I re-awaken, after death will feel like a blink of an eye. There is no concept of time after death.
Remember how long millions and billions of years felt before we were born? Nope. It’s exactly like this. There is no time after death. Millions and billions of years will feel as fast as you blink your eye reading this document. So there is no reason to fear death no matter which outcome the unknown about our universe takes. Work towards being the best version of you with a good heart and you are in good hands.
Face the fear of death! Stop avoiding it. It’s the most important concept to ponder in our lifetime.
Simply live deeply (present soaking), and wish for others’ happiness as much as you wish your own. See others as you see yourself. The same being. On an equal plain. No more, and no less important than another.
If I die please go through my all notebooks/ journals and writing documents. Hopefully, everything I have learned throughout my life can help others find whatever it is they are looking for.
If any of you are worried about me, don’t. There is no reason to fear death and feel bad for the death of another. It is certainly okay to feel sad, but don’t feel bad for me. I will certainly be okay.🙂
Wherever I am, I’m with Dad, and that’s the only place I’ve ever wanted to be. I found you Dad, I found you.”
Keep death close, and I promise you your life will change forever. To learn how to live you have to learn how to die.