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Every now and then, we all need a little inspiration. And if inspiration and motivation is what you’re looking for, take a moment to read these key insights from a commencement address given by the late Steve Jobs to the graduating Stanford University Class of 2005.


Jobs started his address with the recollection of a quote that he read at the age of 17 which said: “If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right”. He explained that since reading that quote, he had looked in the mirror every day and asked himself if what he was about to do would be something he would want to do if it were the last day of his life. If the answer was ‘no’ for too many consecutive days, he knew he had to change something in his life.


For Jobs, the knowledge that he would one day die, became an important tool that he used when he needed to make big decisions about his life. “In the face of death, almost everything falls away – external expectations, pride, fear of embarrassment or failure – leaving only what is important. Remembering that you are going to die is the only way I know to avoid the trap that you have something to lose,” he stated.


Essentially, Jobs urged graduates to be mindful that our time on earth is limited, and that we should never waste that time “living someone else’s life”, as he put it. “Don’t let the noise of other people drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition,” he encouraged the students.


Jobs’ message was an important one – and one you have no doubt heard before. Yet sometimes we need to be reminded to live our lives making the most of everyday, so that we won’t waste a second. It’s true that not everything will go the way we plan, and of course life is just as much about doing the things you don’t want to do, as it is about doing what you enjoy. But ultimately the scales should always tip in your favour. If they don’t, perhaps it is time to make some changes.

Epic Discussion

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