It’s easy in this day and age to postpone our dreams and desires in favour of toeing the line and staying on the comfortable, well-worn treadmill that we’ve been plodding on for years. It’s easy to tuck the things that really matter to us aside and say to ourselves, “I’ll do that later,” or, “I’ll do that when [fill in the blank].”
Well, here are two quotes that, from opposite angles, remind us to live in the moment, to be present to what truly drives us, and to act, with confidence, on our dreams and desires now — right now — because we can, and because the world needs us to do just that.
From Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios, in a June 2005 commencement address at Stanford University (by this point, Jobs had been battling cancer for almost two years):
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.
And from author and philosopher Howard Thurman:
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
From opposite ends of the spectrum — life versus death — these quotes arrive at the same message: live your life, follow your heart. Your time is now. Embrace it with all you’ve got.