Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Since the news broke of Steve Jobs death yesterday, much has been said about his impact on our individual lives and culture. Time magazine literally stopped their presses so that they could change the cover by putting the Apple founder on it. But what stands out to me this morning is a quote by Jobs that I came across recently in the Wall Street Journal. I am not sure but I believe it came from a commencement address at Stanford in 2005.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am 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.”

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