Have you ever heard the song by Tim McGraw called "Live Like You Were Dying"? You know, the one where a man finds out he has cancer and suddenly decides to live a more full life. He focuses on the idea that he only has a short amount of time left to live and decides to do crazy things like skydiving, rock climbing, and bull riding. Apparently, these activities are supposed to represent a life well lived and we, the listener, are encouraged to live as if we only had a few days left on earth.
This sentiment was also reflected in the movie "The Bucket List", in which two men who found out they had little time left to live decided to create a list of crazy things they'd like to do before "kicking the bucket". As a result, millions of healthy people world wild created their own Bucket Lists. Many of those lists included skydiving, I'm sure.
I have to be honest: If I knew I were going to die soon I would not go skydiving. I would, first of all, stop wearing clothes. Then I would probably run through my neighborhood, an activity otherwise known as streaking. I would eat hundreds of cupcakes with extra frosting and I would drive recklessly. I would tell everyone EXACTLY how I feel about them. I most definitely would stop going to work. These are all activities that have negative consequences, but since I wouldn't have much time left to live, I wouldn't care.
But, since I am planning on living a few more decades, I am going to make the most of my life by keeping myself healthy. I'm going to eat salad and take time to exercise and read books and go for slow walks through the mountains. I am going to spend quality time with friends. I am, grudgingly, going to go to work 40 hours a week. I am building a future for myself and taking care of my body because I am planning on living, and doing it well.
I think it's a bad idea to focus on our inevitable death. Yes, being reminded of death reminds us that life is short and we shouldn't waste time. But it also makes life itself seem less important and causes us to worry rather than enjoy life.
If we live each day as if it's our last, we will never grow. By instead focusing on life, we have the opportunity to learn and grow and strive for something better.