Friday, November 25, 2011

Live each day as if it were your last

I was reading that Steve Jobs decided to live this way when he was 17 by "Trying to live each day like it was his last". Though I also saw the usefulness of this way of thinking around this same age, life has a way of putting us through many remarkable changes throughout our lives. So, I think I was 50 years old and had almost died for 7 months before I actually lived like this every moment of every day all the time ever since. I must say it is a remarkable cure for "Middle aged crazy" which is caused by the deep realization that you are not going to live as a young person(under 30 or 40) forever. I have watched many people including myself become very sort of crazy during this time watching myself move towards some kind of ending or conclusion that I could no longer avoid in any kind of useful fantasy anymore. So, once again living each day as if it were your last is a sort of Zen kind of living. Here is a story that typifies this kind of thinking:

"There was a young Buddhist monk who was being chased by a Tiger and so the Tiger chased him over the cliff. He found himself looking up at one Tiger and at the base of the cliff there was another Tiger waiting for him to fall and eat him. The monk was hanging by a strawberry plant over the cliff that was slowly giving way and he spied a beautiful strawberry there before him. What did he do? He ate the strawberry!"

This is a story about living each day as if it were your last, because likely this was the last day of this monks life. By eating the strawberry we make the moment an important one. If all we ever do is run from the Tigers then the Tigers have won. But by changing the conversation and eating the strawberry, we win!

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