“If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?”Steve Jobs
Jobs asked this question in his 2005 Stanford Commencement Address. He told the audience that he looked in the mirror every morning and asked himself that question, and whenever the answer was “no” for many days in a row, he knew something had to change.
This simple habit reveals a person who was incredibly passionate, disciplined, a true visionary, one who wanted to conquer the world, no matter yet.
Looking at yourself in the mirror, asking a question we all dread means that you are ready to carpe diem, as the Romans used to say. You are ready to do live each day as if it were your last, because one day you’ll most certainly be right.
This brings us to the first lesson we can learn from the genius co-founder of Apple.
1. Seize the Day
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
This one sounds obvious but we do most things as if we’re going to live forever, and I don’t mean that in a good way.
We waste years and years procrastinating, acting lazy, complaining, gossiping, and coming up with excuses as to why now is not the right time.
We are plagued with pessimism, and we are terrible at assuming this simple fact of life: we’re all going to die, so we might as we do what we want to do with our time.
In other words, we passively assume we’re going to live forever, that there’s time to get rid of our addictions and bad habits, that there’s time to become someone we’re proud of.
Time is not to be taken for granted. We either seize it, or we lose it forever. And we never know how much time we have left. That’s one of the bitter truths about life.
The good news?
You can choose to carpe that diem, so to speak, to live each day by doing what you’d never want to postpone if you knew tomorrow wouldn’t come.
If today were your last day on earth, what would you choose to do?
2. Live Life on Your Terms
“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world-try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. But life-that’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact. And that is everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it-you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.”
Everything you call life was invented by people who were no smarter than you.
The box you call life. The rules, limitations, the opinions of others. The fears, the frustrations, what we call impossible.
Yeah, you could think outside the box, but you’re still acknowledging there is one, so why not think as if there’s no box at all?
After all, considering the first point, aren’t you the one who has to die when it’s time to die? Then, why shouldn’t you do your best to live your life on your terms?
3. You’ve Got to Persist and Resist
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
Most people think the recipe for success reveals a complicated and arduous process, a perilous and strange odyssey towards a heaven most people can never set foot towards.
The truth is that most people fail to achieve success simply because they do not persevere. That’s it.
The truly successful among us do it and do it and do it until they get it right. They do not seem to care about failure, setbacks, or what others think. They do not let other people’s opinions of them become their reality.
Everything I ever accomplished in life was because I was perseverant. I kept going, no matter what. I am not naturally talented at writing, and I have the kind of genetics that would ensure I’d get injured by sneezing, yet still I work out every single day, whether I feel like it or not.
Perseverance conquers all things.
4. You’ve Got to Find Your Passion
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
This is another secret of highly successful people in general. They have found their passion.
They never, ever settle. They are proud but never satisfied.
If you want to become really good at something, you’ve got to do it with love. You’ve got to do it as if your life depends on it because it does. You’ve got to act with the desire to accomplish great things, no matter what.
Passion is simply this: the ability to sacrifice, the ability to be patient, to suffer, to conquer oneself and the world for what one believes in.
5. You’ve Got to Do
“The doers are the major thinkers. The people that really create the things that change this industry are both the thinker and doer in one person.”
Ideas as free. All you have to do is think. Ideas also don’t matter. Execution does.
If all you do is think about business ideas, but you never work on building an actual business, guess what’s going to happen?
The dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately.
We must act in order to make our dreams come true.
I am a blogger not because I have a blog, not because I call myself one, not because I have ideas for blog posts.
I am a blogger because I punch those damn keys every single day.
We are here to put a dent in the universe, but in order to do that, we must remind ourselves that our time is limited on a daily basis, we must be willing to bend, break, or disregard the rules and norms, we must persistently go in the direction of our dreams, and we must be willing to act and sacrifice for those dreams.
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