“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.
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.
When I was a kid, I thought I was destined for great things. I was born on Christmas Day, exactly one year after they shot Ceausescu, the only ruler of a Communist country to ever be executed. Now, in the same spot, they’re building a shopping mall.
Maybe because I was born when I was born, I don’t really listen to what other people tell me I should do. I never did.
I don’t like authority. I don’t like to follow rules.
I am not afraid of the consequences of not doing what I am told. I am not where I’d like to be in life because I don’t like most people. I have long suspected they don’t like me back.
I am a rebel without a cause, garnering a bit of applause here and there from those who read my stories.
“Every morning, upon awakening, I experience the supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dali, and I ask myself, wonder struck, what prodigious thing will he do today, this Salvador Dali.” — Salvador Dali
Dalí was famous for two things: his art and his eccentric and often ostentatious behavior.
In 1955, he delivered a lecture at the Sorbonne, arriving in a Rolls Royce full of cauliflowers.
To promote Robert Descharnes’ 1962 book The World of Salvador Dalí, he appeared in a Manhattan bookstore on a bed, wired up to a machine that traced his brain waves and blood pressure.
Dalí would avoid paying at restaurants by drawing on the checks he wrote, thinking that the restaurants would never want to cash the checks since they were artworks by the Spanish master.