I subscribed to an app that reminds me 5 times a day that I’m going to die. I know that sounds a bit wacky. Dan Harris on 10% Happier interviewed the creator of this app on his podcast on March 14. I grappled with the concept a bit. Would I really want to be reminded I was going to die? After all, ever since I turned 50, I’m pretty damn cognizant that I’m going to die. Sometimes it even freaks me out a bit. But the more I thought about it, the more I was drawn to at least experiment with it.
The app pings me at random times throughout the day with quotes that remind me that this life is short. The app is called WeCroak. In Bhutan, they say contemplating death five times daily brings happiness. So the app creator thought this would be a great, easy way to use your phone for something good.
I’ve been using it about a week, and I have to say there is something to this. Because I know the purpose of the quote, I immediately think of my demise. And, for some odd reason, I find it very comforting. It’s the same sort of warm, weird comfort I get when I accept my shortcomings and call them by name. It seems contradictory, but I think our minds really like aligning with the truth – no matter how difficult it is to digest.
This morning I was greeted with:
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
~~ Pablo Picasso
These quotes remind me to get off Facebook, start writing more frequently, take care of my health and be nice to others. The ping gently jolts me into questioning the purpose of what I am doing and whether or not it is truly going to matter after I’m dead. If I am in the midst of obsessing about some mistake I made, the moment I contemplate my death, that mistake becomes trivial. Do something about it or move on, I quickly tell myself. I will croak… maybe in an hour, maybe in a week or maybe in 25 years. Regardless, my stay on earth is short.
Get to the good stuff, girl.