I'm dying ...

You know, by definition if you take some immortality potion and are truly "immortal" (though I guess this depends on how you want to define immortal), Earth being gobbled up in a few billion years will not kill you, nor will any potential end of the universe (if you subscribe to those beliefs, I'm not religious by any means, but I find it just as implausible that there must be a beginning and end to the universe).

That being said, I sure as hell plan to fight off death as long as I can.
I'd buy an immortality potion from you before I buy one from the OP.
Of course it's really hard. Nobody said it's easy. But it's also possible. Quickly, name some people from two thousand years ago that continue to wield a (huge) influence in today's world. Surely you can come up with some names: Aristotle, Jesus, Confucius. Move closer to today's world and there are still plenty of people humanity will remember almost forever: Einstein, Newton, George Washington, Napoleon I, Alexander Fleming, Prophet Muhammad, etc.
Sure, it's possible. For some people with great talent, luck and motivation. I mean, you just have to know your limits at some point, and be content with pushing them, no matter the end result. If you have the capacity to win a Nobel prize, you probably merely have a one in ten or less chance to actually win one, because part of it is luck and opportunism. No sense beating yourself up over something you can't fully control. And if you don't have the capacity to win a Nobel prize, you should be able to acknowledge that eventually and move on.

The most important thing is not necessarily to "live in the now", but to live within one's own potential and the physiological restrictions all humans have. Everybody is different, and there is a hard limit to how much of an impact you can have. Acknowledge that limit, accept it, and aim for it. More precisely, if you are almost sure that you CAN do something, and you want to do it, then go right ahead: dive in and do it. This will give you three extremely important things: first, you will have done something; second, because you did it, you now know that your limits are at least that high, and this gives you greater confidence to aim higher; third, your experience now makes higher goals easier to achieve. THAT is how you can eventually get to your true limits.

If you aim for the Nobel prize right now, you are likely giving yourself a goal that you can never attain, and this will cause you a huge stress and the kind of disillusioned talk you display here. No matter what, there are hundreds of small steps between you and the Nobel, and this is discouraging, because you only get your reward at the very end. That is like going to the gym with the objective that "I will bench press 300 pounds", but you can only bench 120, and you are completely discouraged, because in the end if you bench "only" 250 you'll be disappointed. You will get much better results if at every step you see a small improvement and you are happy about it.

To get to the top in anything, it is primordial to manage yourself and understand how your mind works. Setting unrealistic objectives does not work, it burns you out and does the exact opposite of what it is supposed to do. You can do amazing things, but only if you can keep high motivation throughout and focus on progressing and perfecting yourself. You should always "see" the end goal you care about, because if it's too remote you will crumble under the stress that maybe you will never get there.

Here's a tip: every month, sit down and think about where you are in your life. Think about something you'd like to achieve that can be done in a month. If you have a long term plan, find something that definitely gets you closer to realizing it and can be done within the month. Think about your limits, think about the best things you have done. And then figure out how to best yourself just enough to see an improvement but while being sure that you can do it. Then get up and follow your plan. Do what you decided. After a month, see if you had any issues, and adjust your objectives consequently. Maybe at some point you'll hit a wall and there will be stuff you just can't do. Well, that's life, but unlike 99% of the population, you will know your limits. Or maybe you will realize that you can do a lot but that it wears you out and you burn out - but burning out means you will do less overall, and you'll feel like complete shit, so you need to consciously rein yourself to balance your available energy.

Now, my point is, if you manage to do this process, I would say that your life has been a success, regardless of what you managed to achieve concretely. There are simple processes that will allow you to push your limits without burning yourself out. If you follow them, you will get near your personal maximum, and it is stupid for anyone to regret not doing more than they can possibly do. But chances are, you will achieve a heck of a lot, just thanks to good discipline. Success in life is a day-to-day operation, and it can only go wrong if you drop the ball. Unrealistic expectations make you drop the ball. That's a psychological fact.

If I went to Syria and died in pro-democracy protests, whoever is leading (or crushing) the revolution would get all the credit, but I would still have been part of one of today's more profound events.
What would you rather tell your descendants in a thousand years? That you were part of some conflict that nobody will remember, or that you started a company in the beginning of the Internet era?

Who would you rather be, one of the first people to print a book, or one of the people who fought whatever war was going at the time?

Significance is extremely subjective. You see some worth in dying in Syria. I see no value at all. This is an era of rapid technological development, and I'd much rather be a part of that than of one of the countless wars and revolutions that humanity ever waged, thank you very much.

It's okay if you disagree - to each their own.

Now one could argue that there's no point caring about legacy, but what else is there to care about? The whole point of creating new knowledge is to pass that knowledge on to the next generation. Works of art etc are for the same thing.
That is not the point of knowledge or art at all. Not even close. I mean, look, if you are passing on knowledge from a generation to the next, and so on, ad infinitum, who are you even passing the knowledge to in the end? If you are passing on art all the time, who is even enjoying it? Why pass on stuff that nobody uses nor enjoy?

Everybody's future is nobody's present. Present knowledge serves to inform present decisions, and the more you accumulate, the better decisions you can take in your own future. The better decisions you take, the more comfortable you get, and that's an end in itself. Furthermore, many people including myself love to know things just for the sake of knowing them.

Having fun is nice and all, but fifty years in the future are you going to care about how you peaked #1 on the DW OU ladder, or how many books you read?
I sure as heck am going to remember the best few books I have ever read, and I'm going to be glad I read them. I decided to watch Citizen Kane a few months ago because I thought it would be interesting. I don't regret it, it was an awesome movie, and I even care that I watched it. There are many books and movies I want to read or watch, and if I don't within this lifetime, I will regret it.

I mean, sure, there's a lot of fun times I won't remember, but I will still vividly remember many of them, and I don't know in advance which ones, so I might as well try to have as many as possible. That doesn't mean it's all I will ever do, but I consider that it is a valid use of my time and that I must make some room for it. Plus, you can't possibly work all the time, you need fun in order to recharge.

Is your purpose in life to get as much fun as you can over everything you can? A year ago I would've said the purpose of life is whatever you want it to be, but said out loud that hardly seems like something I'd be proud of when I die.
Your argument is silly. "The purpose of life is whatever you want it to be" means that you get to set your own purpose. Obviously, having as much fun as you can is not your cup of tea and you need something more substantial. That does not at all invalidate the purposes others set for their own lives, so the point still stands. Maybe they DO see fun as an end in itself.

Regardless of one's purpose, though, what matters most is balance. In life, you need to achieve some things you are proud of. You need to have fun and experience things. You need friends, you need love. The right balance differs from a person to another, sometimes by a lot, but 99.9% of people need a healthy dose of all of these aspects. A lack of balance tends to wreck everything: you will be unhappy, unproductive and lonely, all at the same time.

Sitting down, focusing on small objectives one at a time, and progressively testing your limits will make you productive. Forgetting about everything and just having plain fun will drive down your stress levels and will help you build up energy. Stuff like reading and travel, in particular, will expand your horizons and will give you new ideas while you have a good time. Seeing people will distract you, relativize your issues, and allow you to exchange ideas or brainstorm. Things like keeping fit or making love will stock up on endorphin and help with drive and motivation. Eating well is primordial. It is seriously all interconnected: neglecting any of these individual aspects will hurt you in (almost) all of them.
I had a kind of personal crisis about a year ago about the inevitability of death after a bad drug trip. You get over it though, I don't think about dying anymore or fear it.

What I'm more scared of is not making the most of the life that I have now and missing opportunities.

PK Gaming

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Yo dawg, Nihilism isn't cool

Seriously though, relax.
1. Take every day and stride, and never take a single for granted.
2. You should be damn grateful you're alive in the first place!
3. Don't live for the future (and likewise don't live for the past either) live in the NOW and enjoy life for what it is.

Edit: Actually disregard what I said and read Brain's post.
I try not to think about it too much.The only thing I fear is dying in a dumb/useless/lame way.Such as an accident,mugging etc etc where I havent done Anything with my life or trying to do something with it.Joining the army and going career just for this reason.Have no problems dying for my county
When I die, I won't care if I have a legacy or whatever. It'd be nice to be remembered, but I don't care that much about it.

I have two things that I would like to accomplish in this life. The first is I would like to have fun. If I wasn't content with my life, I would need to straighten it out. I refuse to believe that our purpose on this planet is only to survive long enough to reproduce. It's just seems a rather pointless existence. I don't see playing video games or reading a book to be a waste of time, because I would be enjoying that time. Time is only wasted if you don't appreciate it.

My other goal is to improve the lives of others. This could include anything, from writing a book that thousands will enjoy to collecting food for the homeless. Having a legacy would be nice, but not necessary. Holding a door open for someone does not make a legacy, but it helps that person out and they appreciate it. I've decided that I will continue to improve lives even after I'm dead by having a baby tree planted over my body, so that it will grow strong and everyone will appreciate it.

Anyways, I wouldn't worry about dying. It's just getting rid of the body when the time is right, isn't it? Just live in the moment and enjoy life.

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