Over a couple of weeks now, there is a Facebook message that has been doing rounds, not just on Facebook but on other social media platforms. It is rumored to be the last words that Steve Jobs spoke before he passed on. When I read his Biography, I did not come across such words. I really love the analysis that the website Snopes did on this rumor.
The rumor quotes Steve Jobs in part saying:
“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world.
In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success.
However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to.
At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death”.
Two Lessons From the End of Life
Whether it is true or false, one thing we can deduce for sure is that success is not all that it seems to be. We can also deduce the fact that the real satisfaction and fulfillment is measured at the end of a life. This should be both an encouragement and a warning.
A fulfilled life is necessarily a life full of contribution and impact to others. The theme of ‘contribution’ and ‘impact to others’ will keep repeating itself over and over again in as many posts as possible on this site. Why? Because that is what a true Life Signature is.
In the previous post, we looked at one of the most important virtues you need in order to have a fulfilled life:
Today’s post continues to explore this all important subject of a fulfilled life. The next virtue that you need in order to have a satisfying an fulfilling life is one of the biggest of all. With this virtue, you identify the ‘outliers’ of this world. You recognize the movers and shakers of society. You recognize great achievers and visionaries that made things happen that we stand in awe of.
Unction deals with the heart. A sense of direction deals with the head or the mind. Again, looking at life from the end of it point of view, you will agree with me that a life that lacked direction will not count as a life that was fulfilling at all. On what yardstick will you gauge that life?
Some people might think that having nothing to gauge your life on would make you have no regrets at all…but that would be a lie. There is something put in every soul on earth even before birth. You can call it vision, or purpose, or a spark (like I love to call it), or a calling. It is not in a selected few special people. It is in every soul born of a woman. There is just one thing though about this sense of direction:
You have to take it. You have to elect it and stick to it. The more days pass, the more this becomes bigger and better and more meaningful. There is no visionary worth his salt who lacked a sense of direction. Jesus Christ at very many occasions said what his direction was. He also knew what his direction was not.
Knowing what it is and also what it’s NOT
His forerunner, John the Baptist is the perfect example. People kept suggesting to him who he was and each time he promptly and unequivocally said, “No”. Then finally when they were exasperated by their own guessing game asked him who he was. “I am the voice that cries in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord!”
How about that for a sense of direction?
One of Life’s Greatest Questions
At any one point in time, we all need to have an answer to that question. “What on earth are you doing here?”
The answer is not in a job title, a past position or a negative answer of “I am in between jobs”. The answer has to deal with the direction that you have decided to take in life, regardless. The other things like what you drive, where you stay, what your job is are secondary and sometimes immaterial.
Believe me, that answer is what will matter in the end. Living that answer is what will give you a fulfilling life. You cannot have two senses of direction. Jesus Christ said that you cannot serve two masters at the same time. Your sense of direction is one. Not more than that. What is it?
Question: What direction are you taking your life?