“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.”
Steve Jobs is dead, and there’s going to be a million lines wrote about him and how he brought Apple from the brink and made it one of the world’s biggest companies and what a tragic loss it is.
But the real tragedy is not Apples but his wife Laurene’s and their kids, tonight his wife will go to that big double bed and there will be no-one there to snuggle up with, no-one to tell about her day, no-one to share hopes and fears, no-one to confide in, and the kids will come home and have no father to tell about their day, and each kid has the expectation that their father will be there for a large part of their lives to watch them grow up and become adults, to watch them make their mistakes and to celebrate their successes and to proudly beam big smiles at them as they overcome life’s trials and tribulations. Apple will go on, will survive and doubtlessly grow but the real tragedy is not for them but for his wife and family.
“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.”