‘If Today Were the Last Day of My Life….’

@CoachACM recently tweeted out a link to an interesting article. It is called The 10 Best Lines Steve Jobs Used in a Presentation.

I really enjoyed the article. One particular quote caught my eye:

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.

Honestly, I don’t want to look in the mirror each morning to remind myself that I’m going to die, through a means and at a time that isn’t my choosing. Death happens. It picks the timing, not we.

But, I think realizing that one’s life is finite is powerful. It is clarifying.

When my mother died at the age of 60, I started to feel a bit older at the age of 33. When my brother-in-law died a few years later, over night, when he was 42, it was a crushing blow to my sister and her two young children. And, to me. The financial support Mrs. T. and I gave them for a decade wasn’t the issue. It was the cold reality that you can die at any time.

So, in my mid-30s, I started Kepha Partners.

I decided that I would rather try and fail vs. not try at all. I made a decision, no, felt compelled and called, not to live the rest of my life in a sub-optimal situation. I desired and wanted a change. I wanted to continue the VC job, which I love, but in a way that was more to attuned to my personal style.

So, while those two deaths in the family were very challenging, the good news is that there was lemonade to be made from fallen lemons.

I’ve found that it is very easy for me to “get stuck” in life. To do the same routines over and over, even when things don’t feel optimal.

There’s nothing like the reminder of death to get rid of my fears. It makes me go on offense with my life.

Leave a Reply