Surat Alnahl - Verses 26 to 31
We’re weird creatures — one of the things that makes us different from other creatures is that we go through life knowing we’re going to die at the end.
The question then becomes one of purpose — what should I do during this time that maximizes my outcome after death (since that part is eternal).
To make such a decision, I’d need to familiarize myself with the ramifications of taking the wrong decision, as well as the cost of inaction (since choosing not to do anything is a decision too).
When the unit of time is something as large as a lifetime, it can be very difficult to plan ahead — many people don’t think about death every single day and I don’t either. It’s hard to see and feel when it seems so far.
However, that must never affect the end goal that you’re setting out to optimize .. since I know that day will come, as a matter of certainty.
This is the longest of long term plays — don’t sacrifice the long term for the short.
TL;DR: Keep your eyes on the prize. Earn it.
Disclaimer: This is a description of my understanding of the verses in the Quran, and not the real true meaning of the verse. My understanding changes over time -- I see many things differently than I did 3 years ago, and my understanding can (nay, it should) evolve with time. Think about how your understanding of the role of parents changes as you grow -- first as a kid, then a teenager and later as a parent yourself. Your understanding evolves with time. The true meaning of the verses however, does not. I make absolutely no claims that this is in any way a resemblance of the true meaning of the verses. Instead, this is really just meant to be a record for me -- a notebook of sorts, where I think over the meaning verses and try to glean valuable lessons with which I hope to apply to better myself.