Yes, the very cliché phrase ‘yolo; you only live once’, is actually going to help us planning 2017 in a philosophical way. Two weeks ago, I spoke to you about the necessity of being bad sometimes (click HERE to read this post). But alongside balance there’s another key element to keep in mind when we set our goals: TIME. We all know that we don’t have an infinite amount of time and that death will come one day. But more importantly, also our finite time isn’t a set amount of (around 80) years and this is something we tend to forget.
After I retire, I will… After I graduate from college I will… After I’ve done this or that I will…” We like to plan ahead, but actually our own death is constantly on our heels. There might be no ‘after…’. There might not even be a tomorrow. So think twice when you’re about to postpone a dream.


According to the German philosopher Heidegger, the awareness of our own death is key to living a human life. Every day, said Heidegger, we are thrown into an unknown world full of possibilities. These possibilities can both be things we do ourselves as well as things that happen to us. Death is always one of these possibilities. But the awareness of this possibility of death isn’t a bad thing at all, because according to Heidegger only this notion will give us the freedom to become who we truly are and do what we truly want to do.

“If I take death into my life and acknowledge it and face it, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life – and only then will I be free to become myself.” – Heidegger

When we live in the constant awareness of our own possible death, we come to the conclusion that the people surrounding us won’t be able to save us from death and that adapting to their social structures is actually useless. Here, Heidegger comes to the conclusion that in order to become our authentic self, we need to free ourselves from the useless chatter of others and not worry too much about what they think of us. We need to be willing to see life for what it is, (a very short and insecure timespan of a questionable amount of years full of opportunities for you to realise) and then live it. You only live once.

‘Yolo’ doesn’t mean you can just do anything.
You only live once.
Be aware of the consequences of your behaviour.
Be aware of the consequences of both doing something and not doing something.

When we look ahead and think of what we want to do in 2017, Heidegger’s vision is one to keep in mind. Think back of what you were dreaming of, this time of the year last year. What have you done this year to make those thoughts, those dreams true? Have you postponed things, did things go differently than you’d expected? I can’t imagine that everything you planned for 2016 went exactly like you wanted it to go. Things never go like you expected them to happen. This time of the year last year, I had just submitted my portfolio to some art schools, dreaming about my fabulous life I was going to have in Scotland this year. Yes, I was admitted and yes now this dream came true. But actually it’s not at all like I expected and this made me realise that living in awareness of dying isn’t only about the big dreams, it’s about the small successes and pleasures of life as well.

‘Yolo’ means looking up at the sky and admire the blue and the sun, or the grey and clouds or even the rain falling down on your face.
You only live once.
Admire all the things in life that are free and available every day. One day you’ll regret not noticing these small things. Notice them now.

When it comes to planning philosophically, I think, it isn’t about making a bucket list of all the things you want to do before you die. Moreover, it’s about bringing yourself back to a feeling of gratitude towards all that is. Have you ever recovered from a very bad flu and felt on top of the world because you could actually do all the things again you forgot to enjoy (eat with pleasure, go for a walk, and just not having that terrible fever)? How would you plan 2017 in if you were in that state of mind? What would you do in 2017 if it were your last year on earth and you did all the things you’ve wanted to do for so long? What would you do if you were free to do anything (or nothing at all)?
You only live once.

This is your time. This is your life.
Life in gratitude of the small, but don’t be afraid to think big as well.
Do exactly as you please, pleasing others won’t make your life longer nor better.
Be you and do it. You know what you want, so go get in in 2017.


WANT MORE ON THIS TOPIC? I am working on a FREE Philosophical Planning guide to make you and your 2017 wiser than ever. I think wisdom should be spread, so help me spread the word and make your life wiser with this guide.
Click here to become a free member now to receive this Christmas gift full of tips and tricks to plan your year wisely.
This offer ends next week when I’ll release the booklet so be quick and don’t miss out! 

Become a member for even more inspiration!
Free of charge and full of joy, for you.

Can you do something this week to live consciously and aware of your own death? I know this sounds depressing, but it doesn’t have to be! Enjoy daily life and the small things as if it would be the last time. What is that one thing you really want to do, can you do something this week to make it happen?

Showing 2 comments
  • Iete Tigchelaar

    In 2017 mag het boek dat in mijn hoofd zit eruit.
    Zo, nu staat het zwart op wit. Dank je weer, Linde

    • Linde

      Dit is de eerste stap! Geweldig Iete! Elke dag gewoon een stukje op papier: een zin, een woord of een gedachte, zolang het maar UIT je hoofd is! Het hoeft niet perfect, het hoeft alleen maar gedaan en dan komt de rest vanzelf. Liefs! X

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