If not now, when?

Why does a clarity of vision come at the end of our lives, twelve weeks before our deathbed?

Doing what you're told is the most common regret of the dying.

“I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

Death compels us to prioritize the things we care about: our true self, family and friends, a real passion, whatever we hold dear to our heart.

The real message is to avoid wasting time. To express ourselves fully, to drive ourselves of bed to get things done, turning authenticity and courage into action.

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Your digital eulogy 

One of the benefits of Snapchat is that your content disappears so that nothing can be used in your digital eulogy. On the other hand, your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts are going to be around forever. And that's how most people will remember you. 

Artist Gabriel Barcia-Colombo is giving people a chance to visit their own digital funeral at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to review the type of social media posts people would see after they pass away. 

According to BuzzFeed's senior writer Doree Shafrir who experienced her own ceremony: 

“All of my tweets started scrolling on a screen in front of me as though to say, you know, here are some words of Doree's to remember her by – tweeting about wearing a dress to a wedding with pockets or Justin Bieber. And I thought, oh, my God, if I did die – God forbid – right now this is what people would see.”

She also notes that Facebook is the only service right now where you assign someone to manage your page after you die. 

Your legacy is wrapped up in Tweets like your life's bumper sticker. So be wary of what you say. Conversely, you can leave no trails behind and just use Snapchat or go off the grid altogether like Cal Newport.

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Patterns in musician mortality

musician mortality by genre

The Conversation explores the patterns in musician mortality within specific genres. Below are some of the takeaways.

  • Blues, jazz, gospel, and country musicians live “on average, similar lifespans as those from the US population with the same year of birth and gender.”
  • Pop, rock, metal, electronic, hip-hop, and rap artists die younger with “lower life expectancies compared with the US population.”

But because the newer genres — hip-hop, rap, electronic, rock — haven't existed as long as the older styles, we have to go deeper into the data and look at how these musicians die.

  • Accidental death by car accident or drug overdose is highest among males, specifically in the rock and metal genres
  • Gospel musicians have the lowest rate of suicide while metal musicians have the highest
  • More than 50% of hip hop and rap artists die from murder
  • Those dying from cancer or heart-related conditions tend to be folk and jazz musicians

The study suspects that style of music predicts human lifespan, with “mortality rates were between two and three times higher for popular musicians than matched population data.” However, the study also cautions that punk, metal, rock, electronic, hip-hop and rap musicians “appear unlikely to live long enough to acquire the illnesses of middle and old age.”

Only time will tell if the initial results from the newer genres remain valid.

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‘It’s not death that I fear’

“It’s not death that I fear, it’s being comfortable in a cloud where nothing ever happens.”

Flying Lotus

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An Interview with Ann Wroe, Obituaries Writer for The Economist

“I don’t think of dead as dead, that’s the thing, and therefore it doesn’t trouble me. It’s an absence, if you like. It’s not the end.” She notes how “I never mention how people die, because I don’t think that’s important at all. I think an obituary is a celebration of a life.”

Death as an “absence,” not an end. Now that's a positive spin!

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An average life seldom contains more than twenty World Cups.

Aleksandar Hemon

Funny, because I always think of my life in terms of World Cups. I probably only have 10 left!

World Cup = every 4 years.

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