Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.

Whenever I need a little inspiration, I like to watch Steve Jobs’ 2005 graduation speech at Stanford called “How to Live Before You Die.”

It’s brief, and yet one of the most beautiful, simple, and inspiring speeches I’ve heard.  I think you’ll like it too.

Here’s my favorite part of his speech that I think is helpful for lawyers looking for a way out:

“You’ve got to find what you love, and that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it, and like any great relationship it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle.”

He continues on to say:

“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 thing 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.”

Steve’s daily exercise in front of the mirror is immensely helpful.  Try it.  Take a look at yourself in the mirror every morning and ask yourself “if today was your last day, would you want to do what you are about to do today?”  If the answer is “no” too many days in a row, then it might be time to make some changes in your life.  Because life is short.

You can watch the video at the link above.  What do you think about Steve’s speech?  Is it inspiring to you?  Has it made you think about your life any differently?  I’d love to hear your comments!


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