At the risk of sounding like a cheeseball, sometimes when I’m feeling particularly unmotivated (see: every day), I YouTube commencement speeches from successful people in an attempt to light a fire under my ass. The voice in my head that says “you should probably pay that credit card bill” or “dude you’re 28, maybe you should be able to pay your credit card bill on time” often isn’t convincing enough for me to put down the bong. I need a stranger to tell me how to live my life.
J.K. Rowling: “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.
Denzel Washington: “You will never see a U-haul behind a hearse. You can’t take it with you.”
Steve Jobs: “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.”
*Opens Capital One credit card app*
*takes bong rip, will surely figure it out later*
Drew Houston, the 33-year-old billionaire founder of file-sharing service Dropbox, recently sat down with the New York Times to share some juicy tidbits on what motivates and inspires him. Houston, who currently holds a spot on the Forbes billionaire list, told the Times that he often asks himself, “Six months from now, 12 months from now, five years from now, what will I wish I had been doing today or learning today?” Sound advice from someone whose company was last valued at $10 billion.
Houston also relayed a life “cheat sheet” he would give himself if he were to go back in time 10 years. Here is what he had to say, citing a 2013 commencement speech he gave at his alma mater, MIT:
I said that if I had a cheat sheet that I could give myself at 22, it would have three things on it: a tennis ball, a circle and the number 30,000.
The tennis ball is about finding the thing you’re obsessed with. The most successful people and successful entrepreneurs I know are all obsessed with solving a problem that really matters to them. I use the tennis ball for that idea because of my dog, who gets this crazy, obsessed look on her face when you throw the ball for her.
The circle is really about the idea that you’re the average of your five closest friends, so make sure to put yourself in an environment that pulls the best out of you. And the last is the number 30,000. When I was 24, I came across this website that says most people live for about 30,000 days. So you have to make every day count.
Moral of the story: never give up on your dreams bros. I sure haven’t. Or something like that.
[h/t The New York Times]