my search to understand the bigger picture

Friday, February 10, 2012

Steve Jobs biography

Finished up Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson this afternoon. What an intriguing read! At 571 pages plus notes, index, etc this was a monster. I'm normally good with smaller books, especially those with a lot of pictures. But something inside of me wanted to give this a go, and I'm glad I did. It was a very interesting piece, with peculiar insights into the mind of someone who helped shape the past 30+ years and beyond. I remember being very moved by one quote in particular.

"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."

I'm someone who constantly struggles with the wall of fear. 9 times out of 10 I allow it to cause me to step back rather than forward. I take very few risks in my life, and the few I do take are always extremely calculated. It's the fear of failure and all that. However, reading this gave me new perspective today. And I'd like to take it a step further.

Not only does that knowledge that one day I will die do this, but even more so, being fully confident in my identity as a child of God makes me confident enough to take some risks. Knowing the love my heavenly Father has for me means I no longer have to be afraid of letting people down, of failing, of screwing something up. That doesn't mean God will stop loving me. He loves me regardless. There's nothing I can do to earn his love or favor. He just gives it. Period.

So, truly, there is no reason not to follow your heart. Because one day we are all going to die? No. Because we have the love of the Father. Unconditionally. Whether we "succeed" or "fail". Now, THAT is life-altering!

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