“… 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
Everyone has that one dream that always haunts them. No matter what age, no matter what job, no matter what stage of life they are in – the dream is there. My dream was and is that I would get pulled apart from the group I am with or speaking to and be set inside a giant glass container, able to see everyone but not able to talk to them (I accidentally got locked inside of a room for quite some time when I was young – there’s a chance it may have severely affected me). Some people (my sister for instance), always dream their teeth are falling out. For my sister, it didn’t matter if the rest of the dream had been good or bad, the second her teeth started coming loose, it was a nightmare. Some people dream their naked in crowd of people (usually a lot of important people). It is only a dream but it is still terrifying to live, even subconsciously, out that moment when your heart leaps to throat and you know that everything you had planned and worked for has been taken away instantaneously with the loss of clothing or teeth (or by being put in a giant glass container in my case).
I sometimes find myself living with the same principle despite the fact I consciously know I will not be separated by a container or magically end up naked in front of a crowd of people. It is still terrifying to consider that things I work for could end so quickly. That people I am friends with could walk away. That people I love could leave. Considering all that could happen, it is amazing anyone tries for anything at all. Fear of what my boss will think can make me consider if I want to share my true opinion on a matter. What if she fires me? Fear of if the school I want to attend for my Masters of Fine Arts will accept me can make me consider if I want to apply. What if I can’t handle that disappointment?
Steve Jobs, a true genius, said it very well. Remember that you are going to die. It is the best way to determine that risks are worth it. When you think about it, this little castle that we build in our lifetimes is nothing after death. Why not risk it? Why not strive for what you really want? You’re already naked, vulnerable, so be so boldly. There is no reason not to follow your heart.