Memento Mori — a little stoic tool

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

I had to study a book written by Seneca at school. But I didn’t click. It was later that I got more familiar with the Stoic school of philosophy.

The concept that struck me the most is Memento Mori.

Memento Mori : Remember that you will die

Memento Mori means to remember that you are mortal and that you will die sooner or later.

I’m fascinated by these 2 words. They carry both the most serious and the most joyful meaning.

If you are to die soon, then you should make your time count. Stop wasting these precious seconds! Stop wasting time on Facebook. Go build something. Go spend some time with your loved one.

But at the same time, your life is so short and small in the grand scheme of things. Don’t take anything too seriously. Even emperors are barely remembered after a few centuries. Go do something silly. No one will remember on the long term.

💭 How to keep it in mind?

Ryan Holiday and Tim Ferriss carry a brass coin in their pocket to remember life is short.

Then I found out that Patrick Collison (CEO of Stripe) has a countdown on his computer that counts how long he still has to live.

I wanted to have such a countdown too. My computer is where I spend (and sometimes waste) most of my day.

🛠️ So I made this page

I made a little countdown for myself that you can see here.

I set it as my homepage to have gentle reminders throughout the day, that my own clock is ticking. I even made a little Chrome extension to replace every new empty tab with this page.

I removed the number of days because nothing is certain. You could leave in 30+ years, or in the next 5 minutes.

I hope this little page can be useful to you too!

Let me know how I can improve it in the replies or ping me on Twitter @wimgz