Everyone is looking for a source of motivation. Some people look for motivation in the music they listen, the books they read, and the inspirational quotes they get from the Forbes list. However, few people are able to keep the motivation they get from the songs and quotes they read and listen to on the internet. In order to gain and keep motivation, you need to think of a bigger picture that will almost force you to accomplish your dreams. It’s very easy to think of, but for most people, it will also be very scary. This kind of motivation is your own mortality.
Although not everyone agrees about where you go once time is up, it is agreed upon that we are by no means immortal. Many people want to think that they will live forever and only pursue dreams at an old age when they seem almost impossible to reach. Although there are success stories such as the one of 65-year-old Colonel Sanders founding KFC, most people give up on their dreams and do not get their goals accomplished at this age. Unfortunately, this occurrence is too common in every age group. Fewer people are pursuing their own dreams because they lack the motivation to do so.
I get my sources of motivation just like anyone else. I have an inspirational quotes app on my iPhone, watch some of Tony Robbins’ videos, and read success stories about people in my niche who make six figures every year. Then came a new way for me to gain motivation–thinking about my own mortality. In my opinion, one of the few problems (depending on how you look at it) technology will not be able to fix is our mortality. Technology has made us live longer and can make us live even longer, but immortality is out of the question.
If someone came up to me and told me about the motivational “secret weapon”, I would be very objective when I heard that the “secret weapon” was thinking about mortality. It’s scary and makes us realize that we don’t live forever. However, the person who used his own mortality as a source of motivation was the leader of a generation, Steve Jobs. I could go on about how he got kicked out of Apple and then ended up saving the day while doing other cool things along the way, but it is more important to realize what motivated him throughout his life. Some of the years he lived were very tough. He was adopted, dropped out of college because his family couldn’t afford it, and right when Apple started to become successful, Steve Jobs got fired. The difficulties he faced and his perseverance alone are incredible. Even when he became successful and regained his position as Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs continued to be innovative. The motivation behind his desire to do so much in his life was his own mortality.
His belief in using mortality as a motivational tool towards success was reflected upon in one of his most famous inspirational quotes, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
We all have an effect on the people around us, and some of us have an effect on people on a global scale. Steve Jobs had an effect on people in California, New York, Europe, and everywhere else in the world. When most people think of Steve Jobs, they think of the visionary that transformed Apple. There are also people throughout history who are remembered for bad reputations and villainous acts. People will remember you for how you lived your life and what you did while you were here.
You may have a bucket list of all of the goals you want to accomplish. You may have the list of 100 places you want to visit before you die. You may want to make $1 million every month so you will be able to live a life without financial worries. You may want to become a bestselling author because it is something you strive for. You may want to run the mile in under four minutes for the glory of doing so. You may want to become successful at a faster rate and start moving instead of staying where you currently are.
We all want to accomplish many things in our lifetimes. However, we only have so much time to accomplish all of the things that we need to accomplish. There are more valuable things we can be doing with our times than watching 32 hours of TV every week. Time gets lost this way; time that you can never get back. Having efficient time management is one part of the puzzle, but a strong motivation the other part of the puzzle.
That motivation, the other piece of the puzzle, is thinking of your own mortality.
It’s something very scary. It’s something that few people ever want to think about. There are so many things uncertain about what happens when mortality creeps in. We have no clear idea of what happens after this stage and are forever left guessing until the time comes. However, there are events in your life that you can control. You may not be living the ideal life right now, but you can change that. Whether you are a stay at home mom trying to bring in more revenue, someone who works at three different jobs, or someone who gets fired too often, there is always enough time to change your life and fulfill your dreams. Colonel Sanders started KFC at 65 years old and got to live to be 90. He did not let the life he lived earlier prevent him from pursuing and eventually fulfilling his dream. Now we remember Colonel Sanders as someone who stayed true to his dream and never gave up on it, not someone who gave up on his life and stopped trying.
The leader of an entire generation used his mortality as a motivational tool to be very productive and accomplish his dream in a predicament where most people would have given up. Although avoiding the thought of mortality at all costs is the easier option, it may be the motivation you need to realize your time is so valuable and you only have so much of it in your lifetime.