Steve Jobs was one of the most significant people in human history. In 2005, he spoke at Stanford University and made the following remarks, “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.”
He continued, “It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked… 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.”
We are all placed here for a specific purpose, however, we do not all figure it out. By following the advice of people like Steve Jobs, we are provided a path.
I found an inspirational path in a phenomenal book by Og Mandino. In The Greatest Salesman in the World, Og Mandino provides us a roadmap to discovering our purpose in life.
Here is Og Mandino’s roadmap to thriving and living life as if today were your last.
1. Today I begin a new life.
“I am not on this earth by chance. I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand.” – Og Mandino
There is only one person responsible for the success and the happiness in your life. Can you guess who that person is? The only correct response is you. You are not entitled to a good life.
You are not entitled to a successful career, a happy family, or anything else in life. I am not saying you cannot achieve these things, because you can.
Yet, you have to take responsibility for your own life. You are the only person responsible for the success and happiness in your life.
2. I will greet this day with love in my heart.
“Just as love is my weapon to pen the hearts of men, love is also my shield to repulse the arrows of hatred and spears of anger.” – Og Mandino
Og Mandino tells us of the importance of love. He inspires us with the following advice, “I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars.
I will welcome happiness for it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure the sadness for it opens my soul. I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.”
3. I will persist until I succeed.
“I was not delivered unto this world in defeat, nor does failure course in my veins. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny.” – Og Mandino
To truly enjoy success, don’t wait until the end. Don’t wait until you are 70 years old and barely able to move. Enjoy the journey on your way to success. Enjoy the moment. Embrace the failures along the way.
Failures are not defeat, they are small victories – each one of them provides a valuable lesson you would not have discovered if you would not have failed.
4. I am nature’s greatest miracle.
“I am rare, and there is value in all rarity; therefore, I am valuable.” – Og Mandino
Do not simply conform with the status quo. Be different, because different is unique. You can easily spot people who are not afraid to be different. If you simply follow the crowd, you will become stuck in the crowd.
If you leave the crowd and take a different path, you may end up on a path that has never been taken.
Use the following advice from one of the most intelligent men in our history, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Albert Einstein
5. I will live this day as if it was my last.
“Yesterday is buried forever and I will think of it no more. Tomorrow lies buried with yesterday and I will think of it no more. I have but one life and life is naught but a measurement of time.” – Og Mandino
Enjoy the now. I know this is easy advice and I forget it at times. However, we should use the advice provided by Steve Jobs and ask ourselves, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”
To embrace this attitude, find out what is important to you and what adds value to your life. Then strive to do only those things.
Do those things you are passionate about and stop allowing the time thief to steal your precious time. Stop neglecting your family and spend time with them.
I have missed some precious moments with my child. I am reminded of the importance of those moments once I realize they are now memories.
My goal is to remember those moments as opportunities that I did not allow to pass by. The best way to do this is to remember Steve Jobs advice and remind ourselves that today could be our last.
Really think about it… what if there was no tomorrow? Life is so precious and there are more ways it could end than there are ways it could keep going.
Lastly, remember this advice from Zig Ziglar, “Spend time with those you love. One of these days you will say either… I wish I had or I’m glad I did.”
6. Today I will be master of my emotions.
“Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.” – Og Mandino
In life, we bring in whatever we focus on. Dr. Joseph Murphy, author of The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, tells us, “Your subconscious mind does not argue with you. It accepts what your conscious mind decrees. If you say… I can’t afford it, then your subconscious mind works to make it true. Select a better thought.” He informs us then to decree “I’ll buy it. I accept it in my mind.”
7. I will laugh at the world.
“This too shall pass.” – Og Mandino
When you fail at a task, repeat to yourself… this too shall pass. When you lose a loved one, repeat to yourself… this too shall pass. When you feel as though your life has no chance for success and happiness, repeat to yourself… this too shall pass.
Stop taking life so serious. When negative thoughts enter your mind, laugh at them. Then ask yourself, who allowed these thoughts to enter your mind? You did. Now let them leave your mind.
8. Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold.
“In setting my goals I will consider my best performance of the past and multiply it a hundredfold. This will be the standard by which I will live in the future.” – Og Mandino
Og Mandino provides us the following affirmations for multiplying our value a hundredfold.
• I will commit not the terrible crime of aiming too low.
• I will do the work that a failure will not do.
• I will always let my reach exceed my grasp.
• I will always raise my goals as soon as they are attained.
• I will always strive to make the next hour better than this one.
• I will always announce my goals to the world.
• Yet, never will I proclaim my accomplishments.
9. I will act now.
“I will not avoid the tasks of today and charge them to tomorrow for I know that tomorrow never comes.” – Og Mandino
What separates the successful from everyone else? They take action. While other people wish and hope for success and happiness, successful people command it. They are not afraid to act. They step into the arena and fight, without hesitation.
10. I will pray.
“Assign me tasks to which others have failed; yet guide me to pluck the seeds of success from their failures.” – Og Mandino
Regardless of your beliefs or religious affiliation, at some point we all ask for guidance. Whatever you believe in, use it. Use it to discipline yourself. Use it to help you remain strong and humble in the face of adversity and failure. Use it to prevent you from quitting.
Lastly, train your mind to be strong in the face of failure. Seek out those tasks others fail at or refuse to do. Then tenaciously complete those tasks, no matter the difficulty.