Perception and Happiness

As I strolled Instragram the other day, I came across a post stating the “Last Words of Steve Jobs”. We are all familiar with Steve Jobs due to his amazing work with Apple. So I was curious to see what he said and why it was relevant for a post online. And after reading his essay, as it was called, for many reasons, my mind was intrigued by his words and his apparent thought process in his last days.

Steve Jobs writes:

“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.

In the darkness, I look at the green lights from the life supporting machines and hear the humming mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of god of death drawing closer…

Now I know, when we have accumulated sufficient wealth to last our lifetime, we should pursue other matters that are unrelated to wealth…

Should be something that is more important:

Perhaps relationships, perhaps art, perhaps a dream from younger days

Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me.

God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth.

The wealth I have won in my life I cannot bring with me. What I can bring is only the memories precipitated by love.

That’s the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on.

Love can travel a thousand miles. Life has no limit. Go where you want to go. Reach the height you want to reach. It is all in your heart and in your hands.

What is the most expensive bed in the world?

Sick bed…

You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you.

Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life.

When a person goes into the operating room, he will realize that there is one book that he has yet to finish reading – Book of Healthy Life.

Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down.

Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends.

Treat yourself well. Cherish others.”

My thoughts on his perception–

I immediately understood his view points, but felt saddened by his perception of his life as a success outside of his wealth. There are many of us in this world that feel money would be the best solution to our problems: we say, “Only if I had a million dollars” or “only if I could win the lottery.” But why not be happy and content now? The things we value the most in life are the things we are not able to take along with us when we die.

The meaning of Perception is our understanding and insight into different situations and events. So, I pose this question to you…How do you perceive your life? Are you satisfied with your daily actions? Are you happy with your characteristics and personality traits? Or are you so focused on materialistic attributes that being content, satisfied, or even happy is an afterthought? Why not change your thought process and view points to be happy in the current state of your life.

Yes, you may not have your dream house, dream car, or even dream job; but your basic needs are being met. Some people may be familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Maslow’s five tier model of human needs:

1. Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.

2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.

3. Love and belongingness needs – friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).

4. Esteem needs – achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, respect from others.

5. Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

So according to this theory, there are only five (5) aspects of life that we need fulfilled to be motivated and to have a success life; however, society displays a lavish lifestyle and our needs have shifted causing our perception to be altered leading to many of us being unsatisfied and unfulfilled in our life overall. It is important to make the decision to be happy and change our negative perceptions into positive one.

While you take the time to read over Steve Job’s words, identify areas of your life you can be more positive about. Change the things you do not like about your life and find ways to appreciate what you have verses looking to gain more or spending time obsessing over material items. Attempt to be positive now and allow your perception to led you to a happier place in life.

Monretta Vega, LPC


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