For the last month I have started and ended each day reading the obituary of prominent public figures, family friends, and complete strangers. While this may seem like an odd exercise, this newly formed habit has had a profound impact on how I live my life and has become an integral part of my daily routine. Below are the two reasons why I start and end each day reading an obituary:

1) Remind myself that tomorrow is never guaranteed. No matter how young, old, poor, successful or rich you are, tomorrow is never guaranteed. It is critically important to maximize opportunities no matter how big or small and be fully present in the moment, as you may never have the same opportunity again. If you do miss an opportunity, practice having a mindset of appreciation, awareness, and gratitude. This mindset will help you identify other opportunities in every event and moment. Empower yourself. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Do not let any precious moment pass you by.

2) Personal motivation. While death is frightening to many, I find it motivating in the sense I am no longer afraid to live and do things that I use to think twice about. Many of the obituaries I have read highlight the meaningful achievements that people have made in their lives and the lives of those around them. I extract motivation from the stories I read and take the learning lessons and apply them towards my own determination and grit that continues to push me forward. For over 30 years, Steve Jobs looked in the mirror every morning and asked himself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?” If the answer was “no” for too many days in a row, he knew that he needed to change something. I encourage you to start asking yourself the same question that Steve Jobs asked himself and if your answer is “no” for too many days in a row, change something.

Your time on earth is the greatest asset you will ever have. Where you decide to invest your time is the single most important decision you make every waking moment.

I highly encourage you to live a thoughtful and purpose-driven life. Implementing a daily routine of reading obituaries can provide you with motivation and perspective to inspire you to live life your to the fullest.

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