I’m scared to die.
More understandable words have probably never been spoken.
And for some reason, tonight, these words lay heavy upon my heart.
Life is short and full of trouble.
This quote actually comes from a verse from the Bible, found in Job chapter 14.
“Man, who is born of woman,Holy Bible – The Book of Job 14:1-2
Is short-lived and full of turmoil.
Like a flower he comes forth and withers.
He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.”
And even though I am only in my thirties, there are times when I think about life, and realize that in some ways, it feels like it will probably be over very quickly.
Regardless of how long we have to live, we all share one thing in common.
We all face death at some point in our lives.
But what is the true alpha male perspective on death?
This is a very good question. And today, that is what I’m going to talk about.
Death Is An Inevitability – But Not One To Be Feared
The 18th and final vow of the Oath of Kings speaks directly to our mortality, and the unknown that lies before us.
I wrote these words very intentionally. And as I grow more powerful as a man in this life, and as I pursue the alpha male journey and take it more and more seriously, I become more and more aware of my own mortality.
I realize that my visions are grand… but that there aren’t as many years to accomplish everything as it might seem.
And so, there are two faces to this.
There is the fear we hold for the unknown future, and there is our own mortality and meeting with death.
I’m Scared To Die – And That Is Alright
Fear is a natural response to danger.
And there is truly nothing more dangerous in life than to live courageously.
To wake up with purpose and meaning, only to be faced with the certain eventuality of your own death and passing is one of the most fearless acts that we can engage in as men.
It is so easy to fall into despair when you contemplate life in this way. In fact, many people live their lives trying to avoid thinking about death.
But I am the opposite. I try to think about it every day, because it gives me a powerful perspective.
What Really Matters?
Though I might be afraid of death in some ways, I choose to face it fearlessly in others.
Futility, in my opinion, is the greatest weight that I bear in life.
The seeming meaninglessness in life is even spoken of in the Holy Bible, said to have been penned by the wise King Solomon, son of David.
Though I am not a religious man, even I cannot help but to feel the gravity of these words… and I feel that I have come to understand what Solomon meant.
“I, the Preacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.
And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven.
It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.
I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind.
What is crooked cannot be straightened and what is lacking cannot be counted.
I said to myself, “Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.”
And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind.
Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.”
Solomon laments many things in this passage of scripture, and eventually comes to this realization.
“So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done?
And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.
The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one fate befalls them both.
Then I said to myself, “As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So I said to myself, “This too is vanity.”
For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die!
So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.”
So, Is There Really Any Purpose To Life?
Alright. So far, this post has probably sounded depressing.
But the truth of the matter, the real truth, is that I do not see it as depressing.
You see, the universe may not have given us a purpose. But we can create one for ourselves.
And yes, things might seem meaningless when we think about the futility of life, and the limited scope of our small existence in the face of the vast horizon of eternity.
But… just as I have discovered the answer, I believe that Solomon also discovered it, as have many great men who came before us.
For he goes on to explain it in what is probably the most simple manner possible.
“There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good.”
What does this mean, exactly?
That is a really good question. I cannot say for certain what Solomon meant by this.
But I believe that he discovered that, when we pursue meaning in our lives, and we focus on our time in this world in the limited scope of our experience, that there is actually a lot of good to be seen, done, and appreciated.
Leaving A Lasting Legacy Is What Gives Me Peace
My purpose and meaning in life has several layers.
But it looks something like this.
I want to help men win with women by helping them to become high-value men.
I do this because I am passionate about it, and believe that it will help the world and create value in the lives of those who read my work.
I believe that because it is valuable, I will reap benefits from it that will allow me to generate wealth.
With this wealth, I will help to grow and support my tribe and family.
Eventually, I will build a kingdom… a lasting legacy of wealth that my children and family will inherit from me when I am gone. And in those last days, I will pass on my responsibilities and my work to them.
In so doing, I am creating a legacy that will long outlast my life in this world.
And this drives me, and gives me meaning and purpose day after day, to continue to do the work that I started 11 years ago when I first began my career as a writer.
And so, by continuing onward, and finishing the fight, and building my kingdom… I create meaning from meaninglessness, and order from chaos… not just for myself, but also for the other humans I love and care for.
I face futility with my own self-invented purpose, and I bolster myself against fear with belief in the importance of this purpose.
I think of my children. I think of the people around me who need me to succeed and lead them to a better tomorrow. I think of the loved ones who will continue to rely on me, years after I am gone.
I think about how my writings will be passed down amongst my family and tribe for generations to come. And so, I want every word to ring with meaning, value, and power that will manifest itself positively in lives for years, decades, and centuries to come.
We All Have The Power To Create A Legacy For Ourselves
This is what gives me hope. This is what I live for, and what I race against death to achieve.
And the hope I have of fulfilling this purpose gives my life meaning.
And so, I eat and I drink. And I tell myself that my labor is good.
I live day by day, and I understand that each and every day is a battle unto itself.
I make peace with the fact that there is no guarantee of victory tomorrow.
And I vow to live gloriously and wisely on this day of days, setting my sights on the battle before me, without losing sleep or hope to the unknown horizon.
I’m Scared To Die – But That Is Just A Feeling | It Is What I Choose To Do With This Feeling That Counts
There might have been a time not long ago when I would have said that I was not afraid to die.
And I guess in some senses of the word that is still true.
But I am only human.
Perhaps it is not death itself, but the futility of life, that weighs heaviest upon my shoulders.
Either way… I bear this burden gladly, with gratitude and with purpose, because I have chosen to give great meaning to my life and work.
And so, it is not folly for me… but a fantastic opportunity to carve a true, lasting legacy out of this time that I have been given to live.
And when it is done, I will look back on what I have accomplished, and I hope to be able to fully embody the words of the apostle Paul, from the book of Timothy… another excerpt from the Holy Bible.
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith…”
If I can make it to my deathbed believing that… well, I will consider myself a very, very grateful man.
What If You Don’t Accomplish The Building Of A Kingdom Within Your Lifetime – Was Your Life Still Worthwhile?
As we live our lives, and we treat others around us with kindness, and face the futility of life with enough bravery to rise out of bed and to continue living the best we can… well, we all touch lives and create our own legacy.
It is true that not everyone accomplishes ‘historic deeds’ within their lifetime. But that does not mean that their life was meaningless… not by a long shot!
I believe that the person who described this the best was none other than J.R.R Tolkien… author of The Hobbit…
Truer words have likely never been spoken. So yes… there is great meaning and pride to be found in simply doing your best, every day, to leave the world just a little bit better than you found it.
To live with such an attitude gives life a tremendous amount of meaning… and most certainly gives life a very important purpose.
I will close out this article with one more Bible verse. I know… for a man who does not consider himself religious, I am using a lot of Bible passages in this post!
But… I have read them many times, and even though I do not believe in the Hebrew God, their beauty still, at times, brings beauty and a peace of mind to my burdened soul.
“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.”
Go with grace, my friends… and may your days be full of peace.
Never give up your power.
[Check out my post: Should I Cheat On My Girlfriend? Find out my alpha-male perspective on this important question!]
Until next time…
Joshua K. Sigafus