Assess Your Life Daily – Steve Jobs Success Secret
In 2005, Steve Jobs delivered Stanford Commencement Speech. In it, he outlined his biggest motivation in life: death. He went on to explain how death kept him interested in the world:
“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
We all have days filled with things we don’t want to do — but when those days outnumber the good ones, it’s time to reassess. If things aren’t looking so good, it’s probably time to switch careers.
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Apply This Steve Jobs Success Secret
The question “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?” is very powerful. It forces you to focus and ponder about what you do on a daily basis.
There are two benefits that arise when you start a habit of asking yourself this question each morning:
- Knowing the essentials: this question makes it easy to say “no” to opportunities and tasks that don’t contribute toward your goals. By saying “no” more often you focus on the essential Deep Work and high-valued relationships that have an impact. Seneca, a Stoic, said it best: “It’s not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.”
- Worrying less about what people think: the biggest barrier to pursuing our dreams and passions lies in the of what others will think or say. But this doesn’t serve you. When you place a priority other’s opinions, you relinquish power and cap your potential in business and the impact that you could create in the world. Quit worrying what others think of you to create extra space for creativity and energy to.If today is, in fact, your last day, would you really be concerned about outside opinions? Probably not. You would be focused on making the most out of the day along with leaving the biggest impact possible.
Asking this question each morning instills a laser-focused mentality to the day. There’s no worrying about a future filled with “what ifs” nor is there worrying about a past filled with “what ifs”. There’s only a focus on the present moment, which is fully under your control.
Adopting this mentality engineers you to operate from a state of purpose and drive.
This article was written by Daniel Silvestre, author and blogger who is passionate about productivity and personal development. he constantly tests different approaches to problems in order to optimize time spent and output generated. Learn more about him at DanSilvestre.com
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