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Steve Jobs started every day by asking himself this brilliant question

Steve Jobs started every day by asking himself this brilliant question

It could change your perspective on life.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, apparently asked himself one question every morning to boost his productivity and evaluate his goals.

Jobs, who died in 2011, started his mornings thinking about mortality.

Admittedly, beginning your day considering death sounds pretty dire, but who are we to question Jobs? He gave us the iPhone after all.

Jobs opened up about his approach to life during his 2005 commencement address at Stanford University.
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Jobs used to look in the mirror and ask: “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.”

This is what Jobs revealed in his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005.

He said: "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.”

So, in practice, it could actually be motivating, and help you progress.

If you’re sticking out your depressing office job and it gives you a severe case of the Sunday scaries, then maybe you might want to consider moving on.

Or, if you’re meeting up with that one annoying colleague at lunch every day, perhaps it’s time to find yourself a new work buddy that you actually look forward to seeing.

Jobs must've been onto something - he did give us the iPhone, after all.
MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images / Contributor / Getty Images

In fact, research from Harvard suggests that mentally preparing yourself to have a good day in the morning impacts your entire work day - it could even boost your productivity and increase focus too.

But, other business moguls reportedly have very different morning routines to Jobs’ - Bill Gates, Microsoft’s former managing director, apparently begins his day by spending an hour on the treadmill, watching educational videos.

Entrepreneur and Dragon on BBC One’s Dragons’ Den Steven Bartlett has said he doesn’t have an alarm and lets himself wake up when he is ready.

He also posted on X in 2019: “A daily routine becomes a weekly routine, then a monthly routine, then a yearly routine and before you know it your life is routine.

“In a world obsessed with creating the “perfect routine”, never forget the importance of living in the moment, being spontaneous and taking risks!”

So, in a world where there is pressure to have a flawless morning routine, perhaps simply evaluating your goals first thing, like Jobs, could be productive.

Featured Image Credit: Credit: Rick Smolan / Contributor / Tim Mosenfelder / Stringer Getty