“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech 2005
We all live in a societal system that keeps us going. Most of us work long hours Monday through Friday and struggle to gain more power and money. We do that mostly because that is what we are taught and supposed to do. Society tells us that. But are we living according to our own set of needs? Are we getting out of life what we really want?
Yesterday, I got the news that my mother’s childhood and best friend has passed away. While it was not a surprise – she was very sick – it got me thinking about end of relationships, accomplishments, life.
I’m not being morbid, but for a moment I put myself in my mother’s shoes: losing someone who had shared most of her life’s journey with her.
Our lives are built on winning and losing cycles. It is unavoidable and out of our personal control. But the control we do have is how we manage the waves. We must learn, accept and embrace all within a structure of pragmatism.
Steve Jobs, in his now famous Stanford commencement, said when he was seventeen he read the following quote: If you live your life each day as if it was your last, one day you’ll be right. That quote he said changed his life.
Remembering we never know from moment to moment how life is going to develop is exhilarating while also serving as a compass for our decisions. We can ask ourselves: If I were to not see this person again would I want our relationship to have ended like this? Would I want the last thing we said to each other what has just been said?
These are questions that come up when we ask ourselves; is there something in my life now that I would not want to be if I was to end today?
Steve Jobs, brilliant innovator, comes back from staring death in the face and talks about living life fully.