Heart Attack

A few weeks ago, Jonathan Frostick, a program manager at HSBC, had a heart attack. He then wrote a post about it that went viral on LinkedIn.

In the post, he had described his reaction to having a heart attack. The post he wrote on LinkedIn mentioned how working from home had blurred boundaries between his personal and professional life.

As per his words –

“I nearly died, or at least I thought I was going to. As I lay in bed reflecting on my regrets and errors, I made a few rules of my life.”

For life 2.0 (as Jonathan likes to call it), his rules included things like not spending the entire day on Zoom, restructuring his approach to work, losing weight, and spending more time with family.

When I read this story, it reminded me of ‘Memento Mori‘, a Latin phrase that’s very popular in Stoic philosophy.

The phrase means, ‘Remember, you’ll die.’ Those who follow stoicism use this phrase often to remind them of the inevitability of death.

But doesn’t that sound a little absurd? Why would anyone like to remind themselves of their death?

However, here’s the thing. Remembering death is not absurd. What’s absurd is forgetting about death, the ultimate truth. Most of our actions are the way they are because we often forget that someday we will die.

We get into petty quarrels, we put too much focus on things that don’t really matter, and we try to please our bosses without worrying about our own well-being. That is exactly why this stoic practice works. 

When we remind ourselves of the inevitability of death, our actions align with that. Someone who’s conscious of death will not take too much stress over little things in life.

For Jonathan, this heart attack was his ‘Memento Mori’.


Thanks for reading. I am Shikhil Vyas, a technical content writer and self-help blogger. Subscribe to my bi-monthly newsletter, Simpler Sundays, to get a dose of relaxed reading delivered directly to your inbox.

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