I wanted to share it with you, but it was hard to see. I saw an online photo of Steve Jobs when he was near death, skin and bones, looking gaunt and frail. His body was nearing the point of shut down and the apparent final essay he penned rang in my head. Unable to sleep, I wanted to share the main message of his dying words.
Most know Steve Jobs as a tech and business guru who died a multi-billionaire at the age of 56, from pancreatic cancer. While researching, to ensure that I was sharing legitimate information, I was unable to verify that Steve Jobs wrote the essay that went viral around the online world.
Since there is no proof or confirmation that Steve Jobs wrote this infamous essay, it was no longer relevant What is relevant; however, is that he is living proof that anyone, no matter how wealthy, no matter how many resources available and no matter how famous, can die at any moment. The moral of this story is still that we have a limited, unknown length of time on this planet and what are we going to do with it?
I am convinced that this physical life we are living here, on planet earth, is like a test. We come here, get to hang out for an unknown length of time and then transition to our next great adventure. Unfortunately, we don’t know how long that journey will last, we have no concrete evidence of what the next part of our journey, after death, actually looks like and there is no how-to-live set of instructions available for our time here.
Billions of us are all just aimlessly trying to figure our crap out and get through one day at a time. We feel pain, we feel sadness, we feel joy, we feel confusion, we feel happy, we feel frustrated, we feel lost, we feel tired, we feel hurt, we feel excited. We are all over the map and each day the sun rises and sets on cue. We get to repeat our thoughts, behaviours and feelings every day until one day we are no longer breathing; this seems pretty messed up.
Since some die young, some die middle age and some die elderly, there is no rhyme or reason to our timeline here. Some get sick, some get into accidents, some take their own lives, some die naturally; life is like a puzzle with so many missing pieces. We have no clue and can’t make any sense of it. Trying to make sense of it can be exhausting and draining.
Instead, we all have a choice. Since we have no idea when our time on earth is going to expire, we have a choice to make the very best of it. We get to pick who we spend time with, what we are going to do with that time and how we are going to experience those unknown years, months, hours, minutes and seconds that we have.
We get to write our own story. We get to be the star of our life movie. We get to be the boss, the executive director, the chief operating officer, the president and the head honcho of our life. Why then, are so many of us struggling, depressed, miserable, numb or zoned out? Why are so many of us addicted to alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping, unhealthy eating habits, cigarettes, pornography, video games, television and more?
We are in a place in our history where technology and addictions have overruled our lives. We have become so impacted by the tech and instant gratification era that we don’t even have to leave our couches to order items by phone and online to be delivered to our door, to change our channel and gaming device, to entertain us, to fill the hours of our days and to veg us out like zombies.
We have lost our purpose, our motivation for living and our mission on this planet. Our ancestors used to have to fill their days doing everything they could to stay alive, to survive, to eat and to sustain themselves and their families. We have automated ourselves out of having to do anything of value for us to function. We get to become blobs on the couch, destroying our health and turning us into depressed shells of who we used to be.
On a more positive note, we are also on the threshold of the most exciting time in our history. We are realizing the power that human beings have to make change, become enlightened, take action and shape our future. We realize the unlimited abilities of our brainpower, the untapped potential to find solutions, fix problems and create the life that we want for ourselves and our loved ones.
We all have the exact 24 hours a day. Whether you are successful or unsuccessful in life, depends on what your definition of success is. Our success is not to be compared to other people. Everyone has different values, markers of achievement, interests, passions and abilities. Success for one person may be money. Success for another person may be joy. Success for someone else may be health. Success for you may be love, peace, purpose, a combination of the above or something completely different.
What is your personal and unique definition of success? Projecting to your death bed, what do you want your life to have looked like? If you had unlimited power to achieve that, what changes would you have to make in your daily life? What is important to you? What are you passionate about? Where would you like to see your life, that is different from where you are now? What are your values? What are your priorities?
You are a creative and intelligent being who can change your mind, shift your perspective and make new choices, at any single moment in time. You can gather strength and lessons from your past and decide right now that your life will be different, so that you will not have regrets whenever your time to transition to the next great adventure takes place. When you wake up with that new philosophy of life, things begin to shift. What is your definition of your great life? What are you waiting for?
Even though the final dying essay of Steve Jobs may or may not be his final dying message, the one thing that appears to be true is that his final six words, with his family gathered around, were actually, “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” I think he got a glimpse of that next great adventure. In the meantime, we get to make the most of the time we have here on this planet. Will you?