Steve Jobs, the late co-founder and CEO of Apple, was known not only for his innovative spirit and business acumen but also for his unique perspectives on life and happiness. In 2005 he delivered his now revered speech at Stanford University on life and paved a roadmap for happiness and satisfaction. A couple of months before the speech, however, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was given 6 months to live. Here, we will go through some questions posed by Jobs and the impact these questions can have if we implement them in our lives.
“Am I living the life that I want and doing the work that I want to do?”
Jobs had a significant internal shift in light of his untimely illness. He started to treat every day as though it were his last because it may have been. It’s not meant to be depressing to consider how little time you and I have left on this planet. On the contrary, it gives us the power to make the most of that limited time.
“The most significant instrument I’ve ever encountered to help me make the key choices in life,” said Jobs, facing his impending death. Our shortcomings, fears, and pride, he said– “fall away in the face of death, leaving just what is actually important.”
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”
After learning that he had a fatal diagnosis, Jobs claimed that he asked himself this question literally standing in front of the mirror every day. Jobs said “When the response has been “no” for a prolonged period, I know I need to make a change. The answer would be a resounding “yes!” if I asked myself that same question every day during this phase of my life and profession. I say this because I’m pursuing my destiny and doing what I’ve been passionately driven to do.”
When you begin your day, be prepared to confront yourself and ask this same question. As you tune in to your emotions, pay attention to what is about to emerge for you. Admitting you are not living the life you want might be terrifying, but it is the only way to change course and pursue something new, something that might be your true calling.
Am I doing what I love?
“Living someone else’s life is wasting your own”, as Jobs argues. Instead, he implores you to determine what role you were created to serve.
People are happier and more productive when they feel a sense of purpose in their work and are passionate about what they do. We would advise finding out what you should be doing as your first step if you are unsure of what you love to do. It’s what Steve Jobs would want you to do as well, so don’t just take our word for it.