Normally when I run I have tunnel vision. I’m always thinking about form, pace, and doing mental math in my head. Thoughts about work, family, or life rarely enter into frame. Today during my 10 miler however, I learned that when the temperatures go down I let my laser focused tunnel vision widen a bit and let my mind wander. Today I thought about Steve Jobs, life, and mortality.
To be clear, I’m not one of those apple fan-boys that tattoos a picture of a half eaten piece of fruit on their ass. Nor do I have all things named “i”. But, as I ran down the road remarking at how cool it had become in such a short time, I thought back to Jobs’ rather expected passing and his 2005 Stanford commencement address. During the speech, he thought back on life, love, and his own mortality. One of the lines, often paraphrased, struck a chord with me.
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.
Of course, the reality is that if I knew I had days to live, I sure as hell wouldn’t be at work. However, the point is still very valid. Life is far too short to not live your passion. Personally, I feel that I am living my passion right now. Work is work. I’m focused, driven, but I don’t let it define who I am.
Thoughts of getting into trouble are running through his head, I am sure
As I continued to run, by this point logging 6 miles, I got to thinking how my obituary would read. (I then realized that maybe I shouldn’t let my mind wander SO far while I run) I’ve read a few of Jobs’ obits and each has provided an interesting summary on his life. That said, I couldn’t help but notice that they were heavily skewed towards his work life. Sure, there was the mention of his children and wife but 90% was about his time at Apple, Pixar, etc.
I have to think that mine would be different. Of course, I haven’t done anything that changed the world – yet. I’m just a normal guy, focused on. . . . living. So, mine would likely be something much more mediocre. It would likely center around family, friendships, and honestly my running. It has become a focus of my life that would certainly require mention. Absent would be things around "Program management for multiple streams of multi-million dollar programs". Snooze. Here is likely what someone would end up with:
Adam was a husband, father, and runner. While he took those three things seriously, he lived his life with a carefree attitude that he carried throughout his life.
If you had 6 months to live, what would you do? I’d travel, visit family, and create all sorts of videos for key milestones for my kiddo.
What would your one-line obit say?
(Don’t worry about this “that’s what she said” free post. Tomorrow I’ll be back to my normal antics! Check out my Funny Foto Friday post below if you need a pick me up!)