Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
-Steve Jobs

It seems that, by default, we live our lives as if our body is eternal. The moments when we truly face and understand our mortality are exceptional. It is in those moments that we find courage and are able to follow our heart and intuition.

So often, we look to others for answers, assuming that we are lacking in the wisdom we need to live our lives correctly. It feels safer to walk the path that others have walked before us. However, most success in life comes when we are willing to challenge the accepted norms and find our own paths. And, following others often leads to confusion as we are lead in countless directions.

When we fail to recognize our mortality, not only is our motivation lessened by the belief that we can follow our dreams tomorrow rather than today, but we can also be paralyzed by fear of the consequences of our actions. We see no end to the consequence of mistakes made in this life. So the safer path appeals to us.

Although we can learn a great deal from the lessons that others have learned, the choices we make must resonate in our hearts. The lessons we learn from others provide information to guide our decisions, not to direct them.

Most of us underestimate the wisdom within our own hearts. It is our guide down the unique path of our unique lives. We will make mistakes along the way and the temptation to regret will be strong at times.

But, life is a process of becoming. Every decision, every mistake, every success, all the joy and pain we experience, every person we meet and every moment our body is alive is a part of this process.

About the author


I am Danny Kohn, writer and designer for this site and owner, software engineer and consultant for Inspirations Software Design. My three greatest passions in life are sharing time with my family, software design and sharing inspiration with others. I have the incredible privilege of being able to spend a significant amount of time every day doing each of those three things. I am a single father of Tristen, our 6 year old son. It has been such an incredible joy to watch him grow up and learn so much. Everything he does and says overwhelms me with adoration. We have a wonderful evening ritual of reading books together in a beanbag chair. Nearly every night, we have a laughing attack together. I smile and giggle constantly in his presence and feel truly inspired.

Permanent link to this article: http://beinspiredeveryday.com/2007/11/12/independence/


  1. Jean Browman--Cheerful Monk says:

    I’m afraid this post doesn’t describe me. See Building a Solid Foundation and Living Every, Every Minute among others.

  2. Danny says:

    Jean, thanks for sharing your story. I found it very inspiring (as I shared in the comment I left on your post Building a Solid Foundation).

    Perhaps I was a bit careless in my usage of generalizations in this post, both with respect to the fact that many, but not all, of us fail to live with our mortality in mind, and with respect to the importance of roll models for guidance.

    The general idea I am speaking to in this post is to avoid the temptation to throw away our dreams in favor of following someone else’s. If we are inspired by the words, actions or dreams of someone else, that inspiration is in our heart.

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