I wrote this several years ago as an exercise when I was brainstorming with myself what was most important in my life. I feel I must have borrowed some of the things below from someone else, but I have not been able to trace any on the list to anyone.

I thought about this list while listening to Steve Jobs biography written by Walter Isaacson, and more specifically to this part about his Stanford Commencement Address in 2005.

In his speech he described three stories about his life. The third story was about death. He told the graduates:

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.

To help you figure out what is REALLY important, list five things:

  1. You are grateful for in your life.
  2. You can do as a family.
  3. You can do to help your community, church or synagogue.
  4. You want to learn.
  5. You want to experience.
  6. You can do to feel more healthy.
  7. You can do to feel less stressed out.
  8. You can do to help someone in need.
  9. You think are important and you can give away.
  10. You can do to be more valuable to your clients.
  11. You can do to become a better lawyer.
  12. You want to do before you die.