. . . and with his recent liver transplant and all the attention that is bringing to the cause for  promoting organ donation, it was a pleasant surprise to discover the following words he gave in a 2005 Stanford University commencement address.  Putting this into perspective, recall that Steve Jobs had been brought face to face with his own mortality in the then recent past with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer that he was told was both incurable and gave him a life expectancy of 3 to 6 months (which later proved to be a slight misdiagnosis).  His address makes for some thoughtful and interesting reading as he said:

Steve Jobs today

Steve Jobs today

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, 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.

“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.”

(to read more of his address, link to http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-01-14/advice-from-steve-jobs-on-living-and-dying and there you will see the facts behind that ‘misdiagnosis’ I mentioned above)

And Steve goes on to say directly to those Stanford graduates, a message that can resonate with all of us at any age:

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”

This man has always been such an amazing man in my eyes (coming from us both having worked in the computer industry for so many years – different companies, but so many years in parallel) and hearing his insightful life words like this just raised him a notch even higher in my own regard for him.    Our prayers for a full recovery and a long and fulfilled life post liver transplant go out to Steve that he may now inspire the world in yet another dimension, showing the success of transplantation that so many of us know these days.

So what do his words evoke in your own life?  As I just read in that book, One Month to Live, “God can take the very painful experiences that you would like to forget and use them to make a difference in the lives of others.” and “Always remember that no matter what you are going through, no problem can destroy God’s dream for your life!”  In my ever growing network of donor families and transplant recipients, I see this at work each and every day, with both my own and Pam’s life bringing that lesson so very close to home (and to our hearts).

What are your dreams, and what are you waiting for in reaching out to make them your reality?  Read Steve Jobs advice above again, and then see what answer your own heart gives to that question for your life today.  Just remember, yes, it is possible!  But first you have to find your dream and then believe . . .

What’s your dream?                           Do you “see” yourself achieving that dream?

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