This one is easy! I have two connected quotes, both from Steve Jobs’ Stanford University commencement address. They both speak to me – they remind me of periods in my life when I’ve had to shift my thinking to be able to move forward.
Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
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.
These words remind me that I don’t need to be overly concerned with what other people think of me. Sometimes it’s hard to take an unexpected path – people judge based on their values and what they know is right for them, and so think is right for me.
It’s important to me that I make decisions for myself based on what I think is the right path, not what I think is proper or expected.
With this attitude, I have been strong enough to make difficult life decisions that have been right for me and those I love. If I quiet the din of life, my inner voice always guides me in the direction I need to go next.