Thursday, October 6, 2011

The passing of Steve Jobs and lessons we can learn

What does this have to do with weight loss? Nothing, but some of his words do. A friend and spiritual leader of our ethical Society, Jone Lewis posted this on her facebook wall last night. They are words spoken by Steve Jobs at a Stanford commencement ceremony:

"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 knew he was fighting a probable losing battle of cancer for the last 6 years of his life, but he battled on. He lived on and he kept doing what he did best and probably even got better at what he did best because he figured the above out. He knew his time was limited, so he followed his heart. Now, he was no ordinary man. His loss is a huge loss to the world. He once said, "I want to put a ding in the universe". That he did, more than most people ever do - even the most brilliant.

Now, we aren't Steve Jobs or of his caliber, but we can take lessons from his messages. And starting with this: We all are here for such a short time. Steve Jobs knew a bit more precisely when his end would come than most of us, but reality is, we all know it will come - sometimes sooner than we imagine. 

I think that I hit that wall of 'knowing' death last winter. I could see my future in front of me if I stayed the course. I would die younger than I imagined and it would be a probable slow and difficult death by either stroke, heart disease or diabetes. The writing was on the wall and I learned this all before my 41st birthday.

No, it wasn't cancer - but to be having heart arrhythmia, sky high blood pressure, very high blood sugars and a bum thyroid so early was a huge wake up call. I had a choice - as you all have a choice. I could do something or continue to live in denial.

Steve Jobs didn't live in denial of his cancer. He worked hard to try to beat it, but he also stripped away all his fears and followed his heart. Most people don't choose that option. Most people stay in denial and continue to live in fear - even at our own detriment.

Steve Jobs was going to die. He chose to follow his heart and because he did, he continued to revolutionize the technological world. What if he had just given up? Where would we be today? Not nearly as far, for certain.

I am going to keep this quote by Steve Jobs somewhere to remind me ever so often about the message. It would be so easy to forget the message without imminent death facing me as it was facing him, but it's always there, and I need to remember that.The other stuff - fear - just isn't worth it.

Stats for 10/6/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 181.2
Exercise total hours in 2011: 275
Total miles walked in 2011: 810/1000 

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