This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Spritual Communion with God by Michael Dubruiel. The previous posts are in the archives to the right. This is step 47:
(47) To keep death before one's eyes daily.
Momento Mori, "remember death" is an ancient spiritual maxim presented to us here by St. Benedict. Keeping one's end in mind helps us to focus on what really matters. Many self-motivators have picked up on this and while avoiding "death" have sought to get people to meditate on what is really important in life.
Of course what happens after death matters a great deal if we are to focus on death. If one believes that nothing happens after death that focusing on it could be a morose practice that would only depress the person. If on the other hand one believes in the after life and a judgment then every decision I make in the present is moving me along a road in one of two directions--either toward heaven or hell.
Many people believe in a after life for absolutely no good reason. Many of them do not believe in God, but reaping the harvest of Christendom continue to carry around with them a vague sense that death is not the end. But this belief does not come from science.
Others, nihilists, belief in nothing but the present but in a rather dark manner, since death is the end that the whole of life is rather meaningless and existence is a bore.