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, Stanford 2005
Steve Jobs died Wednesday at age 56. I’m neither a reporter, biographer, or technology expert so for me to comment seems a bit specious. Furthermore, I’ve never used an Apple product, not out of any principle or dislike, I’m simply not a technology/new gadget person.
Why post then? To catch a SEO keyword uptick? No, I’m not that clever or crass. Simply put, I am deeply touched by these words. Impending death does not always awaken eloquence or awareness but Jobs seems profoundly aware of what he was losing and yet, also grateful for what he had gained in his life. Whether I know his products or his business is ultimately of no matter. What I know is that this was a man who had complete faith in his vision and, just as importantly, himself. To me that is awe inspiring because it is so foreign to most of us.
It’s a noisy world and getting noisier every day. We all need to find the quiet inside and live by it.