Amor Fati or Memento Mori?

My thoughts on the two concepts of Stoicism.

Emperor Marcus Aurelius

So Stoicism, huh? Pretty neat philosophy if you ask me. In stoicism, I especially love these two concepts, Memento Mori and Amor Fati. These two are pretty cool principles. Memento Mori means “remember you will die” in Latin and Amor Fati means “to love one’s fate”. So which one of these two would you want to live your life by?

Concept of Amor Fati

Amor Fati

To love one’s fate is what this phrase means. Whenever something bad happens to you remind yourself “Amor Fati”. Failed a test? Amor Fati is there to save you. Just missed your bus? Amor Fati! Lost your job? Amor Fati! Love your circumstances and they will love you back. This is a pretty neat concept.

A lot of times people are way too busy complaining about their situations that they forget to realize that they should be making the best out of it. Stuck in a traffic jam? Love it! Don’t complain about it. Remember how privileged you are to be able to ride in a car on a road without potholes, probably with your music turned on.

Translate the, “Ugh I hate being stuck in a traffic jam. Now x,y,z are all going to go wrong because of this.” into “Okay. I am stuck in a traffic jam and I am late now. I could have left the house earlier but now there is no use in complaining about it. Instead of complaining, I will just listen to a podcast, or an audiobook or just even music that I haven’t listened to in a while.” Recognize that the traffic jam is not within your control, but your reaction to it is.

Complaining about it won't make it go any faster, in fact, it may even seem as if it is even longer. So LOVE it. Own up to it. It is not easy at first, but with practice, it gets easier. Remember to learn from it but avoid complaining. Negative energy will only attract more negative energy so translate every negative situation into a positive one where you can learn and grow from it.

Memento More

Memento Mori

Okay, time for my favourite principle, “remember you will die”. Now some of you may be thinking, Idika, why would you remind yourself you will die every single day? Isn’t that a bit depressing? To which my answer is, not in the least bit.

For me, the idea that we are all going to die one day and nothing is permanent is liberating. It means that in life the only thing that matters is how we live it, nothing else. When you remind yourself you will die, everything that matters to you suddenly becomes a lot clearer.

One thing I have never understood and probably never will is the fact that so many of us live our lives as if we are going to live forever. You miss your friends? Call them up. Miss your family? Call them up. So many of us will say, “I will just do it tomorrow.” I have a question for you, what guarantee do you have for tomorrow?

Life doesn't have any guarantee. It is now. The only guarantee you have is of right now. Not next week. Not tomorrow. Not the next hour. Heck, not even the next minute. Anything could go wrong at any time so quit wasting your time. You will die one day. If that day was tomorrow, what would you wish you would have done? So do that, right now.

In everything you do remind yourself “Memento Mori,” I will die. Remember you have no guarantee of anything but the moment happening right now so take ownership of that. Because you will die one day, the only way you should live your life is the way you want to, not how everyone else wants you to live it.

Memento Mori and Amor Fati are both really cool principles in Stoicism. I love both of them and I feel that they are principles that everyone should adopt to live a happier life. Loving your fate and remembering you will die one day both go hand in hand with each other. You are not dead fish to go with the flow and nothing is set in stone, so carve your own path and make the best out of your life. Above all, remember that you are in the driver's seat of your life so TAKE ownership of it.

About the Author

Hey readers! If you have made it this far, then I would like to thank you for your time! This was not like my usual other articles, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway. I am super passionate about learning about new things, specifically more about space, astronomy and anything to do with space. If you want to read more articles from me follow me on Medium and connect with me on LinkedIn! If you’d like to be tuned in for my monthly updates, subscribe to my newsletter!

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