The latest Tim Ferriss interview with Jim Collins prompted me to reflect on 2020. We’ve been living through a pandemic since March and with the volume button on the box of fear stuck at “max” for nearly a year, you can’t help but feel the cool breath of death on the back of your neck. If I die tomorrow, will I have lived a fulfilled life?
In the podcast, Collins tells Ferriss the story of his mentor Bill Lazier. Not long after Bill has a heart attack, Jim and Bill sit down for a breakfast of waffles. Jim notices Bill throwing heaps of butter on his waffles.
A shocked Jim exclaims, “Bill! What are you doing?! You just had a quintuple bypass surgery!”
Bill looks up with a content smile and says, “As I was going into the operating room, I bet they saw a smile on my face. I knew without question, that if this is the end, I’m okay with that. I have lived my life the way I wanted to live it. I have so many people in my life who I have loved and [still] love. I have already had a great life and nothing can take that away. So I decided everything from here is gravy, and I’m putting butter on my waffles.”
Collins goes on to remark, “Bill never confused a long life with a great life…Years later when he died, he had a smile on his face.”
This reminds me of another quote:
“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”-Marcus Aurelius
I don’t know about you, but I’m buttering my waffles.Tags: death fulfilment healthspan lifespan philosophy stoicism