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Embracing Memento Mori: A Stoic Reminder for Mindset and Self-Improvement.

Mykonos Town. 

3 am.

Many many beers, very little food, and lots of dancing later, we were walking to the taxi rank from the club. 

That’s when I saw the sign. 

20 minutes later I left with my first tattoo. 

“Memento Mori” on my left foot.

You may be wondering what it means, I’ll explain. 

At first, it may sound a bit dark, but by the time you finish rereading this you’ll realise it’s anything but. 

In a world of distractions, comparisons, ambitions, and noise, it’s easy to lose sight of what matters. The ancient Stoics understood this struggle, offering wisdom that still hits hard today. 

One such phrase, “Memento Mori,” is a reminder of our mortality. 

It’s a powerful catalyst for mindset shifts and self-improvement.

Translated from Latin as “Remember you must die,” Memento Mori encapsulates the Stoic belief in facing the reality of death head-on. 

Rather than evoking fear or nihilism, this phrase encourages a profound shift in perspective. It challenges us to contemplate the shortness of life and the impermanence of all things. It makes us want to live with greater intention and purpose.

At its core, embracing Memento Mori encourages gratitude and mindfulness. When we acknowledge the finite nature of our existence, we become acutely aware of the preciousness of each moment. 

Every experience and every interaction takes on new significance when viewed through the lens of mortality. 

Instead of dwelling on trivial concerns or petty grievances, we learn to enjoy the richness of life and cultivate a deeper sense of appreciation for the present.

Memento Mori is also a powerful antidote to complacency and procrastination. Too often, we fall into the trap of putting off our dreams and aspirations, operating under the false assumption that we have unlimited time at our disposal. 

But, when we confront the reality of our mortality, it makes us realise the cost of doing so. It can motivate us to start doing something sooner rather than later. 

We recognise the urgency of pursuing our passions and living authentically, unencumbered by the shackles of fear or doubt.

Because fear and self-doubt are fuckers when it comes to living the life we want. 
They are some of the most common obstacles I see in clients, but they are obstacles that can be overcome. 

When we recognise that our time on this earth is limited, we are less inclined to play it safe or cling to the familiar. 

We see the true cost of not taking action on what’s important to us. Instead, we want to step outside our comfort zones, take calculated risks, and pursue things that align with our values and dreams.

We come to understand that setbacks and challenges are not insurmountable obstacles, but rather opportunities for growth and transformation. Armed with this mindset, we are better equipped to navigate life’s uncertainties with courage and grace.

So yeah, my tattoo was a drunken decision after a day and night of drinking on a stag do in Mykonos. 

But it’s much more than that. 

It’s a profound framework for mindset and self-improvement. 

It’s a reminder that by embracing the reality of our mortality, we are inspired to live with greater purpose, gratitude, and intention.

We are compelled to seize the present moment, pursue our passions, and cultivate values that transcend the boundaries of our lives.

In a world that often seems chaotic and uncertain, Memento Mori serves as a timeless reminder of our shared humanity and the power of embracing life in all its fleeting beauty.

Thanks for reading this today. 


Ps. I wouldn’t recommend coming to me for advice on tattoos. But if you want help transforming your life in the next 12 weeks and going from stuck to unstoppable, let’s have a chat. 

I’m offering free 45-minute coaching calls to help you get clear on how to start living the life you want. 

Yeah, if we are a good fit, I will see if you want to work together, but if not no worries, you’ll still have valuable info you can act on.


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Karl Williams

Not your average life coach.
I help people master their mindset and step out of their comfort zones to achieve their goals and change their life.

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