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…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 to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.
– Steve Jobs, college dropout and CEO of Apple Computer, Standford University Commencement
I posted that quote last week but its just such a great way to view life that I wanted to revisit it.
We all find ourselves going through the motions at various times in our lives. It’s easy to get into a rhythm and “manage” your life in a way that results in very little problems…and very little fulfillment. Think about how much of your day you do things that don’t get you excited.
When I’ve talked about doing what you love for a living before, many people point out that its easy for me to say because I run my own company. And while there is an element of truth to that, I also think its a bit of a cop out (that’s a funny word to write, I had to check Google to make sure I spelled it correctly). If money is one of the most important thing in your life, then yes, you aren’t going to always have the job that pays the most matching the thing you want to do the most. Personally, I believe that money should be a means to being able to support your family and then it should be used to help you have an amazing life. If its used to simply amass wealth over time, then I think that can lead to an uninspired life where you work extremely hard and regret not spending more time traveling, with your family, learning new things, or <insert regret>.
Regardless of the long-term plan around your job, sometimes a simple change of pace can spur you into new passions and excitement. Here are some thoughts on what you can do to spice things up:
- Volunteer at a non-profit.
- Take on a mentee.
- Go to an event you normally wouldn’t go to (concert, sporting event, play, etc).
- Hand a homeless person a $50, or even a $20. This blows their mind and will make both of your days.
- Invest in a French Press (here’s the one I use), buy some quality coffee beans, and enjoy a great cup of coffee in the morning.
- Spend a week tracking everything you do, categorize it, and figure out how to free up 2 hours a week. Use those 2 hours to do something fun.
My guess is, doing a few of these things might knock something lose in your routine and you’ll end up slightly altering the daily pace you’re on, and you’ll be enjoying life more on a daily basis.