“What would Tyler Durden do?” became a familiar phrase in the years after the release of the 1999 (fuck I’m old) movie Fight Club.
This expression did not circulate and stick around for nothing. It spawned many a Shopify store t-shirt for a good reason. There is a phenomenal amount of ideas and philosophical content articulated by the Durden character within the movie which can be utilised in your own everyday life.
One of the strongest comes from the quote below (Chuck Palahniuk being the original author) spoken by Tyler Durden.
“You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”
This phrase recirculates the concept of the Latin Christian expression Memento Mori – or, remember you must die. Pure rays of sunshine those Christian lads. But the concept is far more ancient than some medieval grumpy self-flagellating bastards but stems back to Socrates and early stoicism.
History lesson aside, the point is you’re going to die, we’re all going to die and mortality is THE ultimate equalizer of all men and women. Every single one of us will die regardless of wealth, morality, longevity or favourite Batman actor. Every politician, monarch and religious leader will decompose and eventually be forgotten.
This point is not to put you in your box and make you feel like shit (well, maybe for the Christians). On the contrary, it should make you get some perspective on your lifespan and what you will do with it. Fuck procrastination in the ass and take a leaf from Seneca.
“Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day”
Consider this the next time you sit down to a twenty hour box set binge or thumb scroll your way through mindless drivel on your “smart”phone. Don’t put off contacting that friend or relative you’ve been meaning to visit. They will die too. Read this very sobering blogpost and then put the call in…
The other aspect to the Tyler Durden quote is the uniqueness of your existence. Sure you are unique, but so what. You eat, you breathe, you sleep, you wake and you excrete. So do the rest of us. Don’t waste anytime whinging and whining about how tough you’ve had it or how oppressed you are. Accept your circumstances and if you don’t like them, change them. Have a life of value and remember that a valuable life stems from being useful to others, the strength of your relationships and following your passions.
Now, fuck off your phone and tell someone you care about that you love them.