WHAT INSPIRES US:
IF TODAY WERE THE LAST DAY OF MY LIFE…
Today I was listening to the commencement speech Steve Job’s gave at Stanford University back in 2005.
It may be one of the best commencement speeches I have ever heard.
He spoke about three stories from his life. The first story was about connecting the dots, the second story was about love and loss and the third story was about death. My favorite story was the last. Below is an excerpt from his speech:
My third story is about death.
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. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
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“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”
What an absolutely brilliant question! A year ago, I would have said NO five days of the week; but now, almost everyday, the answer is YES. The bottom line is that I am happy. I love St. John, the outdoors and all of my jobs.
My favorite job on island is working for VI Ecotours. I love being a tour guide. I get to meet new people, work out, hang out on the beach and help others learn a little history about St. John and our National Park! This past Wednesday I led two guided EcoHikes and during the beach part of our hike I hung out with a bunch of Jackasses. Life is good! (Check out a video I took)
Steve was a very smart man. Eventually everyone dies and YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, so follow your heart. You have NOTHING to lose!
Take the leap. The worse that happens is you fail and then you try again.