“The man who has anticipated the coming of troubles takes away their power when they arrive.” — Seneca
The oldest tennis tournament in the world, Wimbledon, has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London, since 1877. Just above the players’ entrance to the Centre Court, the tournament’s main arena, inscribed are two lines from Rudyard Kipling’s “If:”
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same
“If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?”
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.
There’s this fun experiment I’d often try with folks. I’d ask them to imagine themselves winning the lottery.
They’d tell me all the things they’d do with the money, all the places they’d travel to, all the stuff they’d buy.
It was then that I’d ask them to tell me how they’d feel. Would they act differently? Would they talk differently? What about they way they’d carry themselves? Their demeanor, the way they’d walk? Would that change as well.
We think we are made of skin and flesh and muscle and bones, but that’s not true. We are made of stories, of hope, of dust and stardust, and it is in our nature to always tell stories.
Yes, you might not be a writer, you might not be a blogger, but you are telling yourself the story of who you are, and why you are who you are, and maybe, just maybe, the story of why someone like you has to be.