What's On Your Tombstone?

What's On Your Tombstone?

The Daily Stoic for July 25th. “What’s On Your Tombstone?”.

“When you see someone often flashing their rank or position, or someone whose name is often bandied about in public, don’t be envious; such things are bought at the expense of life. . . . Some die on the first rungs of the ladder of success, others before they can reach the top, and the few that make it to the top of their ambition through a thousand indignities realize at the end it’s only for an inscription on their gravestone.”

“Work is what horses die of. Everybody should know that.”. These words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the outspoken critic of the Soviet Union and communism regime, really hit a nerve on me.

I am a workaholic. I love creating stuff, be it software products, music, words… That sometimes makes me spend more time than I should in front of my computer. When you are the owner of your business, there’s always more work to do.

What’s On Your Tombstone?

Saving up your money for a rainy day. Giving all your clothes to charity
Last night the wife said “Poor boy, when you’re dead, you don’t take nothing with you but your soul – think!”
— The Beatles, The ballad of John and Joko

To make things worse, being a micropreneur, I have no fixed schedule. That’s indeed a good thing. It gives me a lot of flexibility. But also means being vulnerable to working around the clock, burning nights or spending weekends in front of your computer during stressful periods.

It’s difficult sometimes to get a good balance between life and work. You learn it the hard way, and in my case, I need sometimes to remind myself to slow down and enjoy life a little more :).

However, that’s the life I’ve chosen, and it gives me the freedom to work when and where I want, travel the world as a digital nomad and even enjoy a free day when others are working.

So it’s all a question of balance. Of putting together the good things and the bad ones and deciding if it’s worth it. As for myself… I won’t get back to being an employee in a cubicle.


Today’s Daily Stoic, “What’s On Your Tombstone?”, reminds us of a very important lesson: we need to enjoy our lives. We should be working to live, instead of living to work.