I recently came across this excerpt from Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement speech and found it quite touching.
“For the past 33 years, I’ve woken up, looked in the mirror 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, so there is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Here is the full speech: