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The "Day Off" Philosophy and the Deathbed Exercise -- How to Try Living the Life We Want

Updated: Apr 9

A man walking along the way

The Art of Living Free

Many people view the end of formal education as the beginning of a structured adult life. This life offers freedom, but also demands like work, responsibilities, and potentially raising a family. This outlook can be stressful and lead to feelings of unfulfillment, as adult life isn't always what we thought them to be.

I decided to break free from those expectations and live each day with the same sense of freedom as a school break. For years, this approach has transformed my life. I no longer dwell on regrets or let others dictate my path. Like with the Overman, my life is mine to live, my property.

One reason I left university was the realization that certain things simply didn't align with my goals. It's okay to prioritize your own happiness and wellbeing and choose a different path.

My love for learning continues, but on my own terms. I sometimes order online courses and delve into books that pique could help Philosocom's renovation operation, whom I began on August 2023. I am doing this without the pressure of deadlines or grades. This allows me to learn work remorselessly at my own pace. The external world doesn't really understand autistic burnout, and I don't want to experience another "Reaping Fatigue Era" ever again.

This isn't a call for everyone to drop out of school or quit their jobs. Much of how society functions depends on people being able to participate in employment, including important low-status jobs. Rather, it's a call to ensure we're actively shaping our lives in a way that brings us fulfillment. We don't owe anyone a specific path, and we shouldn't feel obligated to do things we dislike.

Feeling stuck? Try something new! Shift your perspective and see how it impacts your life. You might be surprised by the increase in happiness.

Because in a better world, more people would be able to live and work in jobs they're actually want to work in. They would be willing, passionate salarymen. They would feel that not only they're earning good income for their work, but also earning a sense of purpose in their contributions.

But, since we often fail to get what we truly want, as our ideal selves don't always correlate with reality, we are often left to acutalize our honest ambitions in our free time.

The Deathbed Exercise: A Powerful Tool

This is this article's key idea: When presented with the freedom to live life as a series of "days off" from things you dislike, consider it more than just a financially less profitable option. Instead, consider it as the very moments where you can do things wholeheartedly. It's especially true if you're already financially secure and content with your current lifestyle.

As we mature, the initial excitement of freedom in adulthood can fade. According to the Humans blog:

One of the main reasons why excitement decreases as we get older is due to a decrease in novelty. When we are young, everything is new and exciting. Every experience, no matter how small, feels like an adventure. As we age, however, we become accustomed to the world around us. We have seen and experienced so much that nothing seems new anymore. This can make life feel mundane and lacking in excitement.

The thrill of choices like beverage selection, travel, and relationships loses its appeal once we don't find ways to re-ignite this excitement. This, in some ways, mirrors school – we complete tasks, return home, and repeat. We either suffer in accordance to our helplessness or embrace the monotony.

We can recapture that youthful sense of limitless possibility? Who says we have to work a monotonous job forever,, a job we hate, or that marriage and children are mandatory?

The goal is to live in a way that aligns with our true selves' desires, so our older selves don't look back with regret. The same selves that may find each other in their own deathbeds, and ask: "Did we truly lived like we wanted to?"

In my case, welfare allows me to write articles and live a life that feels like a perpetual school break, where I can make and write renovate articles as I please, and enjoy my regime of study.

Even dreams sometimes remind me of the limitations of school life, retaining their mysterious indication about who I am deep inside. However, upon waking, I remember my freedom and the ability to pursue what truly matters to me, not just what my society expects me to do.

The problem with external expectation starts when we fail understanding that they don't always know what is best for us.

I wouldn't mind a simpler apartment or the occasional missed opportunity if it means preserving my freedom. Few things have brought me greater joy than this sense of autonomy. And it's not like I'm really looking for joy. I'm looking for success.

You too can experience a more-satisfactory life by practicing the "Deathbed Exercise." Imagine yourself on your deathbed, reflecting on your life. What would you be proud of? What would bring regret? Most of us have ambitions we hope to fulfill. Remember: time is a precious resource. Better to utilize it than kill it. Our lives will end eventually, and opportunities may vanish before we seize them.

That's why I pursued philosophy now, not later in life. There's no guarantee of reaching retirement, let alone tomorrow. As long as I'm capable of working the work I want, I will do just that.

The Deathbed Exercise encourages us to act on our passions now, rather than delay them for a future that's always uncertain to a degree. Pursue endeavors that require a lack of societal structure and intervention, by having a "day off". That can be done by literally taking a day off from work, or becoming an entrepreneur.

Don't settle for less when you can be brave enough to achieve more! Identify your priorities by knowing yourself more, and live a life that reflects them, your interests and your skillset. Ultimately, feel free to agree with these ideas only if they resonate with you. The reasoning is simple: sometimes, the path to a fulfilling life may not be conventional.

And sometimes, you will never love life unless you're able to take action and live the life you truly want, to the point of a theoretical, eternal return....

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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