When we hear of a death, it stops us in our tracks, and makes us really think about life. But how long does that period of serious reflection last? Probably not too long for most of us. Steve Jobs’ words of wisdom are truly inspirational; allow it to make a difference in your life. I would like to share a quote from him, and comment on it below:
Speaking to the Stanford University graduating class of 2005, a year after surgery to treat his illness, Jobs said, “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. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
What struck me in particular is “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”. In our western lifestyle, how often are we worried about what other people think of us? Unfortunately, a great deal. Now how silly is that?
I heard a radio piece of one of his speeches where he talked about when he wakes up in the morning, if it was his last day on earth, would he still want to do what he had planned for the day? And if his answer was ‘No’ to this question for many days in a row, he knew it was time to make a change. Here’s my take on this — this is true in a certain way. What if you really dislike your job, but you feel stuck and cannot quit. I know you all have certain responsibilities in your life and you can’t just say “I don’t feel like working anymore, so I’m going to go sit on the beach for the day.” So here’s what you can do: figure out what brings you joy in this world, no matter how small or insignificant someone else may think it is. It may be talking to a close friend, playing with your dog, or taking a walk in the forest. Or maybe it’s following a passion by starting a small business as a side job even though it’s not going to make a lot of money. Or maybe it’s looking at your job with fresh eyes and consciously making a decision to have a different experience with it. You are in control of these things.
The bottom line: do something joyful every single day. Choose things that are meaningful to YOU and don’t worry about what others think.