Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My last day?

"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."
- Steve Jobs

It's an old philosophy, zen buddhist perhaps. And I do agree with it on some level.
But I wonder if it applies to all lives and situations. Many tasks worth doing takes a lot longer than 24 hours.  Say you just started a five-year education. And now you know you have only 24 hours left to live. Why go sit in stuffy classrooms that day, why not invite a nice girl or guy out for icecream and dancing? And yet surely that doesn't mean that it's not worthwhile to take an education?
Or say you'd be spending the day packing and preparing for a long travel the day after. Well, you're not going on the trip now, why spend the day packing?

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, October 12, 2011   26 comments links to this post

26 Comments:

At 12 Oct 2011 19:22:00, Blogger TC [Girl] said...

Exactly! Go LIVE it up to your FULLEST potential 'cuz no one else is going to be able to fire you up w/a candle to your butt! Might as well "go out" w/a [hm-eating] GRIN on your face than a somber and SERIOUS frown! How BORING! Hit the Bucket List at the jugular! I'm trying to think what mine would be but...I don't think I need to ponder it, too long: I think I'd go SAILING for the day! Now there is probably *the* most FUN I have *ever* had...with my clothes on! Just sayin'! :-D

 
At 14 Oct 2011 00:57:00, Blogger Cado said...

My take on tasks that take time to complete is that if I devote my energies to it and die, I still have no regrets. Yeah, I'd have acted differently if I knew what was coming, but in that moment I was devoting myself to something that impassioned me. That's never wasted even if I can't always see it through.

 
At 14 Oct 2011 01:12:00, Blogger Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yeah, see, that makes sense: you don't know you'll die. But if you do know, it's different. The saying asserts that every minute and every day should be used in a way which is so important and absorbing to you that you'd be doing it even during your last day, and I just doubt that makes sense.

 
At 14 Oct 2011 19:28:00, Blogger Cado said...

You might be thinking about it too rationally. There's a subset of people who, if they knew they were going to die, would deny it and fight to the last, continuing to plan and act long-term in their final moments as part of their defiance.

In short, human beings don't really make sense. That's what makes life interesting.

 
At 14 Oct 2011 19:48:00, Blogger Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Good points.

 
At 15 Oct 2011 15:19:00, Blogger Joe said...

"The executive who works twelve hours every day will be successful, and be fondly remembered by his wife's second husband."

This quote seems to fit Jobs. Long hours lots of success. Little private home life.

 
At 16 Oct 2011 06:32:00, Blogger TC [Girl] said...

Eolake said...
"The executive who works twelve hours every day will be successful, and be fondly remembered by his wife's second husband."

Yes...I "loved" this. This describes a large majority of employees of Corporate America to the "T." Of course, being self-employed isn't any easier but...as the saying also goes "all work and no play makes Dick..." well...I'll change it up, just a little. "He becomes...his own namesake!" :-(

 
At 16 Oct 2011 12:40:00, Blogger Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, I was always sort of surprised when both he and his family expressed that his family was so important to him. He just did not seem to be the kind of person who really could just relax and enjoy somebody's company, even family. (I have the same, to some degree.)

For many people, work is an addiction. I think it's based on a painful inner condition which makes it impossible to really relax, and it eases it to have something to focus on.

Of course it's rather more fortunate for the world when the person relieves it with work rather than alcohol, heroin, or violence!

 
At 16 Oct 2011 12:42:00, Blogger Eolake Stobblehouse said...

... Of course, "family is the most important thing in my life" is the thing you *have* to say.

 
At 17 Oct 2011 00:00:00, Blogger TC [Girl] said...

Here's someone doing something that they feel led to do, in their final days.

Re: SJ: perhaps he realized - possibly years before he was even gone - how much his family really meant to him. This shot, after his last Keynote, does not depict someone who is not close to his spouse! It's a very tender and personal moment. And...I have also read where, as the days drew nearer, he insisted on being w/his family, for dinner, rather than with others.

 
At 17 Oct 2011 00:03:00, Blogger TC [Girl] said...

Eolake said...
"... Of course, "family is the most important thing in my life" is the thing you *have* to say."

I think it pertains, mostly, to the family that a person creates (ie: spouse, children) in life...although it could also pertain to other family, as well...if there are many of those left.

 
At 17 Oct 2011 01:05:00, Blogger Eolake Stobblehouse said...

That's true. I mix them up a bit because I don't have the former.

Thanks for the link to the article about Jobs, interesting.
A serious illness has a way of sharpening and changing one's priorities! As Jobs hinted at himself.

 
At 17 Oct 2011 01:08:00, Blogger Eolake Stobblehouse said...

... I saw that pic (I think it was another one taken at the same time) a few days ago. Quite so.
It must have been tough for him to balance his priorities.

 
At 17 Oct 2011 07:03:00, Blogger TC [Girl] said...

Eolake said...
"That's true. I mix them up a bit because I don't have the former."

I understand.

"Thanks for the link to the article about Jobs, interesting."

You're welcome. Yes...I thought it was interesting, as well. I'm looking forward to the biography. I hope that his wife decides to write a memoir about him, as well; something for herself and their children to always have and be able to share a part of him w/the rest of the world. Just too durn bad peeps can't appreciate others more while they're amongst us! Why do people always seem to be more "valuable" dead?! So sad! :-(

"A serious illness has a way of sharpening and changing one's priorities! As Jobs hinted at himself."

Yes...I think you're right about that. The "funny" thing about life, though, is that, if you think about it: from the moment that we are born, we are on the count-down to our death! All of us are "deteriorating" just a little bit more w/each passing day...until we return from whence we came. :-/

 
At 17 Oct 2011 08:17:00, Blogger TC [Girl] said...

Eolake said...
"... I saw that pic (I think it was another one taken at the same time) a few days ago."

I, clearly, remember seeing it, right after his last Keynote. I thought it was one of the most moving pics of a couple that I have ever seen! Watching his awkward gait, on stage, I figured that he was quite weak. I think it took all he could muster to get up there w/that [what we, now, know] "brave" face.

"Quite so."

I bet that is one of the most sought-after pics on the planet, now, and...I wonder if it might be his wife's favorite.

"It must have been tough for him to balance his priorities."

Yes. I imagine so...what w/the entire planet hanging on every new product. No pressure there! I don't know how a person can manage to balance priorities, when they are in the thick of it like he has always been. I mean, to even see that concentrated stare that you blogged about, recently; to me, that's the look of pride of workmanship; and...it seems as though, in his mind, this/these(?) disease(s) that he fought...not just for a couple of years, but SEVERAL, seemingly, was a total "none issue." 'How can a person continue to "drive on" like that?" was what I had always wondered. And...how OBSESSIVE and CONTROLLING must he have been to not have given up the reins YEARS ago, so as to saved his strength and enjoyed more time w/his young family. Perhaps that is what he was so "apologetic" about, in the final days/weeks; that he thought that he could just push through this damn thing...like any other DEADline! In a way, it seemed quite selfish and...I just hope that he was able to address and acknowledge this w/his family, before he died, so there wouldn't be as much resentment as if it had all gone unspoken. :-(

(Huh...just found the article that I had originally read and wanted to send you. Funny...he even addressed the "why" of the biography. Wish I had penned it! The author must be VERY EXCITED re: it's upcoming release date!!!! :-D

 
At 17 Oct 2011 08:36:00, Blogger TC [Girl] said...

"I think it pertains, mostly, to the family that a person creates (ie: spouse, children) in life...

"That's true. I mix them up a bit because I don't have the former."

Re: the above: there's nothing quite like the love for your own child. It's very difficult to even put into words...except, perhaps, to say that it is like having a "love affair" that never ends and there doesn't seem to ever be a love as deep and as enormous as this love. I figure it's the closest semblance and example to that of The Father, God's, Love towards us: we're not perfect but...in His eyes...we are. And...obviously, in human terms, of course, we don't think that our children are perfect BUT...we are still able to overlook many of the issues and still feel immense love for that child. :-)

I'm just, now, wondering: if a person isn't very close to either of their parents, is the child even able to "feel" such an enormous love, ever, during "its" lifetime. It was very difficult for me to feel, before I had my kids.

 
At 17 Oct 2011 15:11:00, Blogger Eolake Stobblehouse said...

"just found the article that I had originally read and wanted to send you."

I have some odd problems accessing it, what's the title and date?

 
At 17 Oct 2011 15:47:00, Blogger TC [Girl] said...

Weird! So did I! It was one of those screens where you have to sign in. A subscriber, I guess. See if you can see it, now: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/technology/with-time-running-short-steve-jobs-managed-his-farewells.html?_r=1&scp=13&sq=steve%20jobs&st=cse

I'm pretty sure that was the one. (Sorry...I've linked to a few; my head's starting to spin! ;-)

 
At 17 Oct 2011 15:54:00, Blogger Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I got it now, thanks. What did you change?

Yes, I also kept getting the login page, and then the front page. Odd, it's been years since I had to log in to NYT.

 
At 17 Oct 2011 15:58:00, Blogger TC [Girl] said...

Eolake said...
"I got it now, thanks. What did you change?"

Funny you: I was going to tell you that I just went in via the NYTimes.com route and found it via a search but didn't think you would much care how I got it, again! lol! I was just HAPPY that I didn't have to subscribe just to get the silly article! :-D

"Yes, I also kept getting the login page, and then the front page. Odd, it's been years since I had to log in to NYT."

I find those login pages SO ANNOYING! Don't you have to be paying a subscription fee w/that login silliness?

 
At 17 Oct 2011 16:05:00, Blogger Eolake Stobblehouse said...

No, it's free, but it makes sense to them, because they get an email address they've been permitted to email to, and that's very valuable for a business.

 
At 17 Oct 2011 16:07:00, Blogger TC [Girl] said...

Oh yeah. Didn't think about that aspect of it. Just thought: $ gouging! (Grr!)

 
At 26 Dec 2011 10:50:00, Blogger TC [Girl] said...

Just watched 'One Last Thing.' Have you seen it? Quite interesting the different takes. "Warmly recommended," if you haven't. :-)

Something tells me that I'm going to be toast w/this Amazon Prime around, this month! :-P

 
At 26 Dec 2011 21:20:00, Blogger Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I'm not sure if I've seen it. It may have been the quite well done documentary about Jobs I saw on TV last month.

 
At 26 Dec 2011 23:38:00, Blogger TC [Girl] said...

'tis a 54-minute documentary of his friends and one of Pixar's co's who had Jobs up in his face at a meeting. It was a fairly interesting doc. I forget all their names but one he would actually meet up with and go out for walks w/him, when he was having a rough time. In the dude's own recognition of how unique he was, even as a friend, he noted just how rare that is in a friend, anymore. Sound like the same one? Did you finish that latest biography about him?

 
At 26 Dec 2011 23:47:00, Blogger Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Sound like the same flick.

I haven't finished the book yet. I've been reading other ones, for example Snuff by Terry Pratchett, very good.

 

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