Live each day as if it was your last and someday you’ll most certainly be right. – Steve Jobs

To hear the words is powerful but to live them is something more.   As Jobs said, death is the one thing that life got right by reminding us our time here is limited.  Nothing can be taken for granted.

For fear of kicking a dead cat, if ANYONE out there has not seen the Steve Jobs commencement address please do yourself a favor and watch it.  I’ve watched it 25+ times (the last two weeks YES I’m obsessed with the message) and I was surprised to received a couple messages from people who are seeing this for the very first time so again, take nothing for granted.  If you’ve seen it, watch it again.  If you know someone who hasn’t seen it, pay it forward and share it with them.  Share the feeling with them.   The video is embedded at the bottom of this post.

Bottom line, start following your dreams today before you hear your days are numbered.   And what I mean by living your dreams isn’t “getting your dream job.”

“A job is what you do, not what defines you.”

Life is about so much more than what we do for a living.  Work to live.  Don’t live to work.  It baffles me when I met people for the first time and one of the first questions they ask me is “So, what do you do?’  In 2011, the model of going to work everyday for the same company for 40 years is a pipe dream.

We are made up of so much more than where we work (for it’s different everyday since my business is virtual, work is wherever I am) and what we do for a living.  Each one of us has unique attitudes, beliefs, passions, experiences, stories, friends, goals, dreams, successes and failures that make up who we are.

Go to Itunes or Spotify and listen to Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dying” a couple times in a row and let the message sink in.

The message is simple.  Do all the things you have been meaning to do.

Why do most of us need to find out we are dying before we really start living?

I can’t quite put my finger on the word but when you meet someone who lives a life of passion it is truly inspiring.  These are my favorite people to surround myself with because everyday with them feels like anything is possible and they’re constantly learning, laughing, giving back and living life to the fullest.

It’s how we all want to live, but very few of us do.   Why is that?

Try this exercise out below and perhaps you will find some of the answers you are looking for, I know I did the first time I tried it.

Imagine you woke up tomorrow and had $10 million dollars.  For those of you who are worth more than $10m (anyone?) add a zero to your net worth for the same effect and keep reading.

What would you do?  Where would you go?  Who would you spend your time with?

How much would go to investments?  What would you do after you bought all the material things you wanted and traveled to all the far away places you’ve yearn to see with your own eyes?  How much would you give to charity?   What have you always wanted to do but haven’t been able to?  Perhaps you’d travel around the world with a loved one and buy a home (or two) overseas.  Then what…..that’s where the treasure lies.

Pull out a pen and sheet of paper, your laptop or Ipad and spend 15-30 minutes jotting down your ideas and dreams of how you’d live your life down on paper if you suddenly came into $10m (legally of course and it’s not an accident).

I cannot encourage you enough to actually write things down or type them somewhere.

That seems to be one of the biggest differences between successful people I’ve studied and those who think they have it all figured out (in their heads at least) but never seem to get the bounces or they think they’re just plain “unlucky.”  Luck has a funny way of working out for those of us who do the little things right consistently over time.

When you think it, ink it! 

Writing down dreams and goals makes them real. 

Would $10 million dollars change anything in your life?   What about $50m?  It absolutely shouldn’t.

I was pleasantly surprised to see my list included many of the things I already do day-to-day such as traveling, exercising, contributing to charities and sharing my stories, knowledge and experiences right along side others the others I plan to do in the future.

That said, the first time I did this exercise (a couple years ago) I must admit there were lots items on my list that didn’t exactly line up with my life if you get my drift.

Then I had a huge “AHA” moment when I realized it actually wasn’t the $10 million dollars holding me back, just the Irish Israeli mug staring back at me in the mirror.

Once the motivation and focus was there I realized I didn’t need the $10m to make my dreams come true.  It all came down to eliminating the self-limiting beliefs which were due to a lack of clarity about what I really wanted to accomplish.  Take the motivation from the $10m and use it to harness your focus which takes a bit of practice, as they say anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first.  So expect your first couple attempts to be slightly off.

This is perfectly normal the first couple (or dozen) times you do this exercise.  Stick with it and keep doing it over and over and over every six months or every January 1and eventually you’ll narrow down what it is you’re purpose is.  My list gets better and more refined every time I do it.

Persistence does not recognize failure.

The goal is to get to the point of saying, “If I woke up tomorrow and had $10 million dollars in my bank account it wouldn’t change a thing about how I’m going to invest my day today because I’m happy.”

The biggest take away is the $10m won’t make us any happier than we were before we had it but the exercise is an effective one for expanding our minds and focusing our vision towards what’s really important (and I promise you it’s not a million bucks or logging more time at the office).

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.  When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down ‘happy’.  They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.  –John Lennon

What more can I say?

Until next time…..Keep questioning the status quo, working hard and living your dreams!

Also I would like to congratulate the 10 winners of inspirational DVDs for commenting on last week’s blog . Raelene, Taso, Zach, Kathleen, Kelly, Melissa, Bill, David, Michelle and Steven your DVDs will go in the mail this week.   For those of you who haven’t responded yet make sure I get your address so I can send you your prize.  I’ll extend the generosity and throw in a FREE DVDs for the first 2 comments on this weeks’ blog.  One catch, if you won last week you’re not eligible this week :)

IMPORTANT REMINDER:  My blog posts are coming out sporadically for the next 30 days and perhaps forever.  If you haven’t already done so, the best way to stay in the loop is to put your email in the box in the upper right corner and subscribe. 

Everyone loves motivational quotes, right?

Here are the two videos I mentioned checking out.  EVERYONE reading this should watch the Steve Jobs speech.  Especially if you’ve never seen it!

Live Like You Were Dying Tim McGraw- incredibly inspiring