Is to think about death. And dying. There’s this thing that has been floating around about the last words of Steve Jobs, which apparently first appeared on a blog:
“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success.
However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to.
At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.
In the darkness, I look at the green lights from the life supporting machines and hear the humming mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of god of death drawing closer …
Now I know, when we have accumulated sufficient wealth to last our lifetime, we should pursue other matters that are unrelated to wealth …
Should be something that is more important:
Perhaps relationships, perhaps art, perhaps a dream from younger days
Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me.
God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth.
The wealth I have won in my life I cannot bring with me. What I can bring is only the memories precipitated by love.
That’s the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on.
Love can travel a thousand miles. Life has no limit. Go where you want to go. Reach the height you want to reach. It is all in your heart and in your hands.
What is the most expensive bed in the world?
Sick bed …
You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you.
Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost — Life.
When a person goes into the operating room, he will realize that there is one book that he has yet to finish reading — Book of Healthy Life.
Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down.
Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends.
Treat yourself well. Cherish others.”
While it seems that Steve Jobs didn’t really say any of those things, it does raise an interesting point to think about: perhaps we only realise what is most important to us when we are close to death. I think there is some validity in that theory. Human beings are like that. We cherish something most when we have lost it, or are close to losing it.
So perhaps one very good way to think about what we really want in life is to imagine that we are on our death bed. The end is near. We know it. We can feel the cold bony fingers of the Grim Reaper resting on our arms, ready to pull us into the Great Unknown. In the brief moments before you pass into the veil, as you look back on your life, what would you want to see? What would you be most proud of? All the money you have made? The flashy cars you have owned? The big house you lived in? What would you regret most? Not having made more money? Not having bought that branded bag?
Or would you regret not living life true to yourself? Or being so “busy” that you missed out on spending time with family and losing touch with friends? Or would you have regretted not being truly happy?
Also, imagine this. At your funeral, what would you hope people would say of you? How would you hope people to remember you? What would you want people to include in your eulogy?
By the time you are on your death bed, it’s too late for regrets. What you can do, is to start now. Live your eulogy. Live life in a way that when the time comes, you are at peace, knowing that you have lived a full life, made your mistakes, learnt from them, done whatever you can so that the world is a better place because of you, lifted the burdens off some people, that people will be sad that you will soon be gone, but that they will all be celebrating your life too. Imagine that last few moments of your life. Start living your life now so that when the time comes, you will be able to greet Death as a friend, and you are ready to head into the veil and start your next great adventure.
That’s what I have started to do. I have started to meditate on death. It is helping to give me clarity about how I want to live my life. Perhaps it will help you too.