Just few days back I was listening to a commencement speech by Steve Jobs at Stanford University recorded back in 2005. Below are the few lines which really intrigued me. I am sure many of you must already have heard or read this.
“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
I have read in many self development books the idea that what would you do if today was your last day on earth.Many gurus teach to consider each day as it is your last day and then carry out your day. As per them it is a good technique to conquer your fears which stop you from following your passion. Even though this idea seems logical but it never resonated with me. If today was my last day I would probably not be thinking of following my passion any ways. In fact I am not even sure what will I do if today was my last day. It would probably panic me to think like that 😛 . I would rather spent the day with my family at most.
On the other hand what Steve Jobs said in his commencement speech at Stanford University made much more sense to me.
“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”.
The above lines are totally life changing. Instead of thinking each day as if it is my last day , accepting the fact that I am going to die eventually makes it much more easier for me to make choices in the direction of my passion. You cannot predict you life but you are for sure certain of death. Death is something which no one could avoid so why avoid life.
All our fears will far apart at deathbed. One day we would go back to the source from which we came and our journey in physical realm will end and with it all our fears, society driven rules, ego and everything which stop us from following our excitement or passion will end as well. So why let our fears,which do not have permanent existence and will die with us,stop us from doing which makes us feel good.
People get trapped in unwanted life situations such as life sucking job or poisonous relationships but most of them do not make an effort to get out of it. What is stopping them from making new choices, from following their passion, from taking a leap of faith. It is the fear. Fear of loosing the secure monthly income if they quit their life draining job, fear of being alone if they got out the relationship.
Fear keeps us from moving in the direction of following our heart. But if you accept the fact that one day you will die and with it all your fears will die as well then you could at least start thinking of taking steps to move out of your miseries. You are going to live once so why live a fearful life. Why not go out and try new things, things which would make your life more rich and abundant. Why not start looking for doing things which excite you instead of getting stuck in dreadful job. I am not asking you to quit your job if you do not like it but at least start making effort to make a transition from that job to something more meaningful to you. Take a new degree, training, classes or start your own business. How long would you wait before you realize that you have already spent most part of life doing something that you don’t like and soon you will be dead. When you are dead all your excuses will die as well, excuse that you are too old, that you have too much responsibility, that you do not have enough time to take a training parallel to your job, excuse that your venture might fail.
We discussed in the post Passion is the Divine Trying to Express Itself that God created this physical world so that He can experience Himself physically. He wants to have the physical experience through us. There are millions of experiences that He can have. What we call our passion or a hobby is the experience the God is trying to have through us. That is the reason why we feel good doing those things. God wants us to feel good.
Just remember that our time in this physical realm is limited. No matter who you are you will die one day. So start moving in the direction of things which make you feel good. Have faith that the Divine will support you in exploring your favourite endeavours. We discussed this in the same post Passion is the Divine Trying to Express Itself . Start thinking about how you can start doing what you really want. Many people have already done this and so can you. There is no reason you cannot do it. Use death as a positive trigger to move in the direction of your passion.