Kate Manser YouTube Cover

You Might Die Tomorrow (So Live Today)

When Kate Manser lost three friends in a short span of six months, her sense of safety and assumption of a long life ahead were shattered. She spiraled into a dark time of anxiety and fear, wondering if she might die at any time. However, the tragic death of another adventurous friend on Mount Everest sparked Kate’s profound shift from concern with dying to a passion for truly living and inspired the “You might die tomorrow.” movement.

You Might Die Tomorrow Book Cover

In this interview, Kate explores her journey of transforming deep trauma into growth and meaning. By leaning into mortality, she awakened to the true fragility and preciousness of life. With this renewed perspective, Kate courageously reinvented areas of her life to align with her curiosity and joy rather than external expectations.

You Might Die Tomorrow

Embracing our mortality can be a gateway to a fuller, more enriching life.”

Kate Manser

The unexpected deaths of Kate’s friends in their 20s and 30s shattered her assumption that she’d live to old age. She explains, “I never really internalized that truth…when those three people died, part of the reason I went into post-traumatic stress is because…I felt like the safety of my life had gone away.”

Plunged into panic and anxiety, Kate realized after another friend tragically died chasing adventure, “You (we) might die tomorrow is a truth that is out of my control. And so why am I wasting all my time and energy on something that is outside of my control?”

“Remembering that you’ll be dead soon is the best tool I’ve ever encountered to making the tough choices in life.”

Steve Jobs

This quote powerfully resonated with Kate in her journey to transform anxiety into urgent clarity. She cites other historical practices centering mortality like Memento Mori and Christian scriptures emphasizing the eternal now in our temporary lives on Earth.

Key Insight: Our lack of control over mortality can shift our focus from worrying about dying to passionately living.

From Post-Traumatic Stress to Post-Traumatic Growth

Kate came to understand the psychological concept of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as occurring when our worldview or sense of safety is shattered by trauma. This manifested in her as constant visions of dying and panic whenever death crossed her mind. The idea of dying tomorrow is terrifying for most of us. Kate shifted that mindset of “you might die tomorrow” into a mantra for living fully present.

Studies reveal the real phenomenon of Post-Traumatic Growth after hardship and darkness. By picking up the pieces of a shattered worldview, people can emerge with deeper strength, wisdom and meaning than before trauma.

Kate explains, after moving through the initial stress, “My whole perspective…shifted on how to use my time and energy that I have and what is and is not within my control.” Her friend’s adventurous death pursuing his dreams contrasted with Kate’s previously restricted existence focused on safety.

“If nothing else, the reason is to enjoy my life, and to be myself then.”

Key Insight: The contrast between how her friend fully lived versus Kate’s fearful existence before his death sparked her pivot into courageously aligning with her own fulfillment.

Radically Reinventing Her Life

“Many people go through life as if it’s a rehearsal.”

Kate Manser

When Kate’s perspective on life and death began shifting, she was in an unhappy marriage and worked at Google – a dream job for many. Yet after losing four friends, knowing life’s fragility sparked her to profoundly reinvent her existence.

She took huge steps aligned with her personal joy and interests rather than default societal expectations. Kate explains, “I took significant steps to reinvent my life by following my joy and curiosity, rather than…societal milestones.”

Some of her courageous changes include:

  • Traveling the world for 2 years after quitting her high status job at Google
  • Becoming location-independent rather than tied to one place
  • Exploring her passions surrounding yoga, writing, art
  • Authoring a book and starting a movement centered on empowering mortality awareness

Kate reveals that fully embracing the fleetingness of life can be transformative – opening us up to create a life radically true to oneself.

Key Insight: Lean into mortality’s reminders that this may be our one chance to live aligned with our deepest joy and purpose.

The Courage to Be Our Authentic Selves

Kate highlighted that while social milestones provide comfort through feeling acceptable, following our own inner truth requires tremendous courage but reaps tremendous rewards. She admits:

“It takes a lot of courage to live a life true to myself, and not the life others expected of me.”

Part of Kate’s healing and self-actualizing journey included focusing more on activities that lit her up versus what she thought she should be doing. This also included expressing her colorful, creative soul through clothing styles beyond mainstream norms.

As she embraced embodying her real self, Kate discovered:

“By how we show up…and have the courage to be ourselves…that all of our actions, create that ripple effect. Not only does that help you live your best life…it also helps more people than you can ever imagine, in ways that you could ever comprehend.”

Kate Manser

Key Insight: When we risk following our innate passions and purpose, we grant others permission to live more authentically too through far-reaching ripples.

Getting to the Root of Our Self-Worth

Kate vulnerably shared that launching her own entrepreneurial business aligned with her deepest interests initially sent her into a challenging depression. Despite seemingly courageously following her dreams on the outside, attaching too much self-worth to monetary metrics and achievements set her up for turmoil when things don’t go as planned.

She came to realize that basing our value on external validation such as applause, income or job titles rests upon a fragile foundation. True, unshakable confidence arises from within through knowing:

“You are worthy just on your own…peeling away those false senses of worthiness.”

Kate Manser

Kate had to release attaching her self-esteem to particular goals gently. She discovered that resting in her inherent value just for being her unique self offered the greatest sense of stability.

This connects with the top regret of the dying – wishing they had the courage to live life according to their own hearts rather than others’ expectations.

Key Insight: Let go of seeking self-esteem from ever-changing external sources. Instead, find fulfillment through expressing your distinctive gifts and essence.

Growing Into Our Wholeness as Humans

Kate confessed that during a period of depression, she realized she had been a fraud in only embracing the positive spectrum of being alive. This denied a core aspect of being human – that we live within a profoundly complex dance of light and dark. Embracing the philosophy of you might die tomorrow freed Kate up to be her authentic self.

She came to understand a crucial milestone of maturity involves lovingly accepting all our humanity:

“Part of our duty…is to begin to let in all of these aspects of life, birth, death, sadness, joy. And I all pause here after a story…I realized that I was a fraud. Because if I truly love life, that means that I have to love all of life.”

Kate discusses how resisting any feelings or experiences leads to exponentially more pain than the suffering itself. By gently opening to the full range of our humanity, we can flow through challenges with greater ease.

Key Insight: Attempt to embrace all your humanity – including death, grief, anxiety, joy, boredom and more. Fighting life increases suffering while accepting life brings peace.

Discovering Our Divine Nature

Kate shared beautiful perspectives from 50’s mystic Neville Goddard about discovering our own divinity, which resonated with the interviewer:

“Neville Goddard, reading and Neville Goddard understanding of the Bible is that apparently the the number one phrase in the Bible that’s repeated more than anything else are the words ‘I am.’ ”

Kate Manser

In his interpretation, declarations of I AM throughout the Bible encourage us to claim our spiritual authority as creative beings. Kate muses this offers an uplifting lens, considering scriptures as nudging us to acknowledge our own divine essence.

Key Insight: You may uncover profound power in boldly declaring statements affirming your magnificence such as: I AM here for a reason. I AM divine. I AM love.

The Courage to Share Our True Feelings

While mountain climbing or skydiving may help some touch a life essence through physical risk, Kate offers another pathway to feeling fully alive:

“…something about being close to death helps us feel more alive. However, or I should say, and you know what sometimes makes me feel like I want to die sharing my feelings. So if you don’t want to like climb Everest or jump out of a plane, just like really vulnerably share your feelings. And that’s just about as scary as as any Daredevil activity that there might be.

Kate Manser

She suggests that perhaps nothing takes more courage than freely expressing our authentic emotions and standing firmly rooted in our wholeness. The fear of public speaking is more common than the fear of death. Speaking as our authentic selves, causes us to embrace the you might die tomorrow mentality.

Key Insight: Consider vulnerability and truth-telling as adventures equal to extreme sports requiring profound bravery, faith and skill.

In closing, Kate reminds us that focusing on enjoyment creates the most far-reaching positive ripples over simply achievement. We live fastest when flowing in our natural currents of curiosity. She urges:

“Make being really you as your life purpose. And I think that that is a process of one creation…but it’s also a very important process of destruction, we have to peel away the layers of our denials and the lies we tell ourselves and the masks we hold up.”

By courageously confronting mortality, we can guide ourselves and others home to living vibrantly empowered, authentic lives.

Find Kate Here:

www.katemanser.com

www.youmightdietomorrow.com

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2 Comments

  1. This is profoundly inspiring. Just beginning a new life without my husband of 33 years, and your words have opened up hope and new possibilities. Thank you Brian!

    1. I’m sorry about your loss. I’m glad my words have provided some amount of hope.

      My wife and I just passed the 33 year milestone. Quite an accomplishement!