If Today Was The Last Day Of Your Life..Would You Wanna Do What You Are About To Do?
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like, “If you live each day as if it were 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’m 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. 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.
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to Heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now, the new is you, but someday not to long from now you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s quite true. Your time is limited; so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
I just spent 30 minutes to transcribe these notes, only to find out it had already been done! It’s okay, I’ve now committed these thoughts to memory.
– Steve Jobs