”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 said this. He passed away two days ago. Last week I told you about my dream to write a book. What I learn from Steve is to not talk about a dream anymore, I should approach it as a decision, a big choice in my life.
A dream is a vision that hasn’t materialized yet. When I phrase the dream as a choice it becomes more clear. Do I want to follow my heart? Yes.
What do I want? I want to succeed, share, communicate, contribute and inspire. I want to be open and courageous enough to give voice to what I see, hear and feel. I want to be accepted and appreciated. I want to love and be loved. I want to be free from fear.
This attitude of not hiding or shying away from life is what I call warriorship. For me warriorship is also about my continous battle with my fears and insecurities. According to Trungpa Rinpoche we are either warriors or selfish and fearful cowards. I want to live like a warrior. I want to know who the world’s most inspiring living warriors are and I want to meet them. I want to write a book about my quest for the 21st century warrior.
I use the word ‘quest’ on purpose. In the metaphorical sense a quest is a self-imposed task that is impossible to fulfill. Medieval knights go on quests to find the Holy Grail. Supposedly the Holy Grail is the metaphor for the secret of life. Hobbits go on a quest for a very special ring. A quest is a long and difficult journey, with helpers and obstacles, demons and disasters. The experiences of the naïve hero transform him into a wise and mature man.
So I want to go on a quest and the outcome is unsure. I hope to find many true warriors. Hopefully we connect and bond and friendships and alliances will be formed. But I might find different challenges. Maybe the warrior does not exist, maybe the people I would like to talk to don’t want to talk to me.
I will turn 40 soon. There is no better moment to go on a quest for meaning than when one turns 40. It really feels that way to me, I like the symbolism. Young and healthy enough to take on a challenge, mature enough to understand what it is about.
I will be dead soon. Steve Jobs lived for 56 years, my father and his father 58. I might be granted more time but if I want to live my dream I have to live it today.
Thank you Steve, for reminding me.
To be continued.