Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Job's Perspectives on Dying

The world truly lost a genius today whose brief time on this planet made a real difference to a generation...

I ran across a few passages attributed to former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, commenting about his own battle with pancreatic cancer...some of you may find these words of interest.
“The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is   incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six   months,” he told his shocked audience.

Although a biopsy later showed the cancer was treatable, Jobs said it had made him think seriously about dying for the first time.
“No one wants to die,” he said. “Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it.
“And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
“Our 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 others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”…
And then these comments too...

 “When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."
- Steve Jobs

Interesting, huh?


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

the world lost an amazing man today...

hugs, bee

Jeni said...

One of the other bloggers I follow did a post on him today too and in it he included a video of the speech Jobs made at a Stanford University graduation that the paragraphs you quoted here were taken from. What an awesome speech that was! And yes, what an incredible man he was too! Amazing!

Anonymous said...

A long time ago I read a book by Rabbi Harold Kushner (I think it was When All You Ever Wanted Isn't Good Enough). He talks about adopting a deathbed philosophy -- that when it is all said and done, it is the stuff that doesn't matter. Much like Jobs' comment about truth and one's heart.

Having watched my father pass on bit by bit, I can say at those moments the wise Rabbi's words took me by storm.

Death is a change agent... and a reminder of what's real and important.

Desert Songbird said...

Thought-provoking, for sure. He was not a god, but he was a visionary, and were it not for him, we would probably not have the personal computer in our homes as ubiquitously as we do.

He was incredible, and we are better for his having been wiling to live his life the way he did.


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