The 1 Brutally Honest Question You Need to Ask Yourself Every Single Morning:
“If today were my last day of life, would I want to do what I’m about to do?”
It’s a question Steve Jobs famously asked himself every morning.
Recently, I started doing the same.
No—I didn’t have a breakdown or hit some personal crisis. Weirdly enough, it seems as though people need that sort of negative experience as a form of ‘grounds’ to ask such a deep question.
But in reality, it’s not a deep question. It’s actually surface-level—a basic question we should all start our mornings with.
I mean, if the guy who invented the iPod and completely changed the world as we knew it asked himself this question on a daily basis, why wouldn’t we?
The problem is, we’re afraid of the answer.
Most of the time, the things we’d rather be doing—traveling to new cities, discovering new hobbies, etc.—cost either time or money.
Often, they cost both.
We don’t get to wake up to a misty sunrise above the clouds on Haleakala every morning or watch the sunset on the black sands of Santorini every night. We can’t skydive over Interlaken or surf Nazaré or scale a waterfall in Costa Rica on a daily basis.
Of course we want to do the things that make us happy every day. We want our days to be filled with excitement and adventure and new experiences over and over and over again. We want to wake up every morning, jump out of bed and shout “YES!” to that all-too important question.
And we think that one day, with enough hard work, we’ll be able to do so.
That one day we’ll be rich, and have all the money we need to do whatever we want, whenever we want. That if we work hard enough now, we’ll reap the benefits later. And that if we work even harder now, we can reap those benefits even sooner.
So we hold off on asking that question until we can answer ‘yes’ every time.
And that’s a huge problem.
The question is not meant for later.
It’s not meant for you to say ‘yes’ every time either. The point of Jobs asking himself that question—and the reason why everyone should do the same—was to challenge himself.
Does my work really matter?
Am I being impactful?
Is what I’m about to do today going to bring me fulfillment?
If ‘no’ was ever an answer, I’m sure Jobs followed up with “why,” and found a way to change his answer—or at least work toward a more positive answer for the following day.
Every day, ask yourself if what you’re about to do is really what you want to do.
It’s a question that took Steve Jobs from guy in a garage to starting what would become the first trillion dollar company.
Don’t be afraid to ask yourself that question every morning, even if you know the answer is not one you want to hear. Don’t say ‘yes’ because you’re afraid to live life without purpose.
And be honest.
In asking yourself that question and giving an honest answer, you start to figure out who you are, what you want in life and where your purpose lies.
Soon enough, you’ll figure out what you really want to do. You’ll find your passion and do that every day for the rest of your life—being able to answer ‘yes’ to your morning question every time.
That’s the point.