in life

Did You Enjoy Your Story?

Last November, newly removed from the news of Steve Job’s passing, I asked a question to all of you. I asked, “What story are you telling?” 

And ever since, I’ve been reminded of one simple and profound quote by Jobs’ sister, Mona Simpson: “Death didn’t happen to Steve, he achieved it.”

My takeaway? Death will happen to each and every one of us. It’s inevitable. It’s one of the few things in life that’s guaranteed. But before we get to that point, we’re allowed freedom. Freedom to create. Freedom to learn. Freedom to grow. Freedom to leave a legacy. The greatest gift of life is that we’re given a blank canvas on which to write our masterpiece.

And embracing that, knowing that, owning that, bring me back to Mona’s profound statement. Death doesn’t happen to us. We achieve it.

I stumbled across the video above (aptly titled “a story for tomorrow”) last week, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. This five-minute video shows a couple’s five-week journey exploring Chile and Patagonia. But the real message isn’t about them, it’s about us. It’s about everyone. It’s about our journey. Our adventure. 

As the video progresses, the narrator, the voice of our future, has this to say:

As with all those who have come before you. Their path soon came to an end. And they only found me. Their future. Waiting. I asked them the same 2 questions I will someday ask you. “Is it possible to be happy with this life? And then i will ask as I do to everyone else, “Did you enjoy your story?”

Life’s a funny thing. We so easily fall into the trap that everything is predetermined. We lose our sense of control. We forget that we have a choice. We disregard what’s so incredible about that blank canvas that’s placed in front of each of us when we’re born. Which is:

The pen you pick up to craft your story? It’s a pen. Not a pencil. You can’t erase what you’ve written, but you can always write something new. Something different. Something incredible. Anything you want. Starting now. 

Today’s future, tomorrow’s future, and every day after wants to know, “Did you enjoy your story”? How will you answer?

FYI, if you read this via email, go ahead and click through to watch the video, it’s well worth five minutes of your day.

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  1. Excellent video and accompanying words – very thought provoking indeed. Was pleased to hear a Yeah Yeah Yeahs song used in the video too!

  2. Matt,
    I saw this vid several weeks ago.  Being a backpacker myself I really enjoyed it.  Your title really grabbed me since my “mission” is to live a better story after reading Don Miller’s book.  My blog launching in a few weeks is built solely on that concept.  So, “story” is my life at this point.  Your question, “Did you enjoy your story?” is a good one.  But can only be answered if someone realizes they are living a life story, like it or not.  Some drift, finally get asked your question, and realize, they “could have” enjoyed it IF they had been more intentional.  Had they recognized the elements of living a good story.  Had developed their character, wanted something worthy, embraced the conflict and ENJOYED the resolution.