"Width Of Life Is More Important Than Length of Life"

In this blog we discuss Avicenna's words and how they are being applied in modern society.

Ibn Sina, or as we refer to him as Avicenna was a Persian Polymath, Astronomer, Writer and Physician. A Polymath is someone who has a significant amount of knowledge about many different topics.

Ibn Sīnā/Avicenna

I consider him to be a Philosopher in which there is much to be gained from. One teaching in particular that he shared comes in the form of the following quote:

  • “Width of life is more important than length of life”.

To some of you, these words may be quite self explanatory. To others, maybe not so much. These words although simple, are immensely crucial and should be implemented by all of us.

Many of us seem to forget that in this form and with this mind, we will not be returning to this Earth. It is not a common thing to constantly remind oneself of their own mortality. From my observations in life, not many people like to even mention the topic. I believe this is due to the fear of death and the fear or discomfort the topic itself brings to many people.

If this is you, you may need to re-evaluate your attitude and thought process to your own mortality. Let me share with you a personal experience of mine.

Businessman looking through window at city from the office by Inuk Studio -  Stocksy United

Prior to me even having thoughts of my own mortality and wanting to live a better life, I lived each day as if there was another guaranteed to come. It wasn’t until I started to self-reflect that I realised that this is what I was doing. Through this way of thinking and living, it led to me being a very lazy and wasteful person. Wasteful with my time, lazy with my actions and simply believing things would always be okay. The fault here (which is now obvious) is that I will not always be here. I won’t ever be guaranteed tomorrow and good things in life won’t just come to me.

The re-evaluation of my actions and thought process led to me changing this outlook on life. For what is life if we are not living it to the fullest? How can we be happy knowing that we are lazing about and treating the only life we may ever have with such dis-respect? I couldn’t live with myself knowing that I was wasting precious time doing multiple unfulfilling actions.

Upon realising this, I started to fill my days with purpose. I started to follow the path of doing what spoke true to me and focusing on what I loved. Regardless of how difficult it may have been or continues to be, I have never been more satisfied. From starting to study something I like, starting to exercise daily, building my brand The Philosophers Army and participating in many things that speak to me, my life has never been better.

I look back at the person I was and there is much to be learnt. I look back at my past to learn and ensure certain actions are not repeated. I look back and my heart is filled with much sadness. Through the reflection of the past, I became immensely grateful for the present. Grateful for what life has taught me and passing on whatever knowledge I have so that others can live a more positive and fulfilling life.

So the purpose of this blog is simple. Do not waste your days and take action on what you truly want to do. It is not going to be easy but rest assured knowing that anything worth having does not come easy. Through the struggle and through the suffering comes true happiness and satisfaction.

Many examples of modern day people who lived and currently live life doing what they love, even though it may be difficult and see much satisfaction from it include:

So my friends, do not waste your time as we are not guaranteed a long life and any day might be your last. As Avicenna said “Width of life is more important than length of life”.

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