Death – The Ultimate Motivator

Death smiles upon you

Death smiles upon you.

A mantra I find myself reciting daily as of late.

Every day is an opportunity. Each day holds the paradigm of choice. Tomorrow, my friend,  could be your last.

One of the few things all humans commonly share, is one day taking our last breath. As that final breath is exhaled, will you rejoice about a life well lived, or lament over a lack of action, indecision and unfulfilled dreams?

To quote Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple:

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. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.
— Stanford University commencement address, June 2005.

Most people do everything possible to avoid the conversation about mortality. Many of us openly dream about things we hope to do, be or accomplish someday. Often, when asking someone what steps they have taken towards making their dreams happen – silence is the answer. Silence is only trumped by excuse after excuse, about being realistic, or not having enough time or money.

It’s all a matter of choice, of what you deem valuable.
It’s about becoming motivated to take action on the little things that lead to big changes in mindset and results.

Remember the next time you find yourself saying “someday I’ll  __________”.

Ask yourself:

1. What have I done towards these goal in the last three months?

2. What fear based inhibitions stand in my way towards making progress?

3. Is a lack of money keeping this goal from becoming a reality? Do I track my spending? Can I make additional income? Can I sell some of my stuff?

4. How will I feel on my deathbed, if I haven’t taken any action toward this goal?


These are hard questions to ask, but a real and present wake up call. If you haven’t taken any steps, no matter how small toward your desired outcome, this means one thing…

Your present actions (and distractions), are more important to you!

It all comes down to questioning what we really want in life. Asking what changes, sacrifices and actions we are willing to consistently take.

Personally, when I start to feel demotivated on any given day, I do one thing. Get up, and take a walk outside. This break in environment and getting my body in motion works wonders. Once you’re in motion, it’s a lot easier to keep going and get something done.

No matter what your goals in life, remember we all have a limited amount of time to make things happen. Some of us are OK to not have many goals, coasting along day by day. If that’s you, more power to you – embrace your mindset and enjoy without the burden of these decisions .

Whereas, if you have a list of things you really want to “happen someday”, figure out the next small action you can take…

Time quickly flows through our hands without remorse. One day we will all question where the years went. We never know when the reaper will strike.

Your biggest enemies are complacency and self doubt. Most people are too absorbed in their own worlds to care what you are doing. Care not what others think, care only about what will make you happy (and your loved ones). You can never please everyone, all of the time. You can however, please yourself (pun intended :)), on a regular basis when you take consistent action.

The next time you are scared to take a step, to talk to that cute girl/guy, to give that speech, to ask for a raise, to start that 9-5 job killer online business, remember…… Death Smiles Upon You.

I shall leave you with this famous quote , from the author Mark Twain:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

What are your dreams?

Do you remember the moment that changed everything and kicked your butt into action?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>