Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." ~ Ferris Bueller

Thanks to a thought-provoking Facebook status, I invited Tom to guest spot on Constructive Compulsion. Please spend a little time with his thoughts... I think he'll get you thinking about quite a few things.

OMG. Can it actually be true? Am I dreaming? That’s it, it’s all dream. I will just pinch myself and wake up and think, Man how I wish that dream would come true... No, people this is not a dream,  but reality in itself. I actually have my big break. I’m guest blogging on Constructive Compulsion.

All joking aside, Nikki saw my recent post on Facebook and replied to it with the words, “Do I see a guest blog spot on Constructive Compulsion? So I replied to her via text:

10/16/2011 9:11 AM (text in reply to my Facebook status that Nikki replied to. So it’s my reply to her reply, get it? Got it? Good.)

Me (you know the guy with the big break to guest blog): Guest blog spot?

Nikki: Write :-)

Me:  Why you say that?

Nikki: Because this video clearly provoked thought. I think you could explore this question a lot further.

So the initial thought runs through my head: Is this how she is when she’s in “Professor” mode? Ha, run off thought for maybe a future blog—Nikki: mild mannered book editor by day, super powered English Professor by night). Well for whatever reason she had to spark this blog out of me is her own and only hers to know. Who am I to question such higher thought processes? And now we come to the point where I stop gloating about how I get to guest blog and you don’t.

The whole reason for this blog is because of the death of Steve Jobs. Anderson Cooper had a segment on Steve Jobs referring to his Commencement address to the Stanford class of 2005. Steve had three stories that day. His first story was about connecting the dots, the second about love and loss, and the third about death. It was his third story about death that was featured on Anderson Cooper’s show.

Here is the clip from Anderson Cooper -

This is the prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs -

My Facebook status read as: Usually my posts relate to my sense of humor. Possibly offending somebody, making somebody chuckle or just creating that “why the heck did I just waste my time reading his post” feeling. A few times I’ve been serious and emotional and have actually had the occasional OMG my post was “liked” a bajillion times. Well this time I will fall into the 90% category of all Facebook status updates (see link - ) . This was passed on from a co-worker and it really brought me to think, am I living my life to the best of my ability?

I bet many of those college graduates walked away thinking, “Ah, he’s just saying that ‘cause he was sick at one point, thinking he was going to die. I have more than enough time to enjoy my life and be carefree.” Well, maybe I’m just talking about how I would have been at that age. As they say, the thirties are the new twenties. And it’s just now at my age (with just a few more years to go till I’m forty) that I’m actually looking at life completely differently than I used to. For the first time just the other day I was thinking about my own age and thought, Damn, I’m going to be forty soon, I’m getting old. How much more time will I have to be able to do what I want to do? To be able to tell my children what they need to hear from me? To look at all the people in my life that I love and let them know exactly how they fit in my heart? When will I actually take the time to figure out who, what, where, when and how? My thoughts flood my mind. So I sit back and tell myself, relax, sort through them and prioritize. Tackle one thought, one emotion at a time. But how? How do you decide what to do first? Oh the pressure of being an adult, a parent, a Father, a son, a brother, a boyfriend, a friend.

Well I hope that those college grads walked away the way I would have walked away after hearing this speech: time to enjoy my life and be carefree. Steve could not have said it any better than he did. He referenced in his speech The Whole Earth Catalog. I have not heard of this publication before nor will I be running out to my nearest library (who am I kidding this is the 21st century—logging onto to purchase it). What I will take from it are the words: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish”.

Steve Jobs unfortunately was not able to beat cancer. Fortunately, I’m in good health, at least to my knowledge. I’ve done much the same as Steve has, when hearing myself say “No” for too many days in a row. I’ve taken the initiative to make a change in my life. Have they always been the down the right path? Well this question will have to be possibly answered in another blog. Sometimes those “No” days run into weeks, possibly months, but hopefully not years. Here I am, in my late 30s, looking at changing my career. Way too many “No” days have passed.

Truly there is no person more important in your life than yourself. My recent philosophy has been, “If you can’t make yourself happy, how can you make somebody else happy?” It’s been working for me. I’m headed in the direction that I want to be. The whole purpose of my Facebook status was really just to get whomever decided to read it to engage in a little self-reflection. We go on everyday doing what we do, for whatever reason. The majority of us don’t think about what Steve was saying in his speech. I’m one of the majority. I’m guilty of going through life one day at a time mainly in reaction mode. 5:00 AM alarm goes off, 6:00 AM start my commute, 7:00 AM start my work day, 4:00 PM work day ends. It’s unfortunate that I have only a few hours a day to adjust how my life is going and where it is headed. The majority is making sure that I get paid, to pay for my living expenses. Take a second and reflect on your day. Are you making sure you’re living each day as if it was you’re last? As we all know, nobody can tell when the last day will come.

1 comment:

  1. Great guest post and really interesting food for thought. I have been thinking a lot about that commencement speech ever since I heard it, too, and there were so many things that I took away with it. This isn't a stab at the graduates sitting in those chairs on that day, but I feel as though in the 10 years since I graduated college I have learned so much MORE from gaining life experience... and my mentality has shifted entirely. But his arguments were compelling and wise and from someone who had clearly faced death (or at the time, thought he was facing death) and had lived to tell the tale. That has GOT to change a person, eh?

    I also loved the bit in his speech about the calligraphy course that he took. I dunno why but I just thought that was so neat that one course completely changed the face of computers as we know them!