One of the best motivational speeches ever given, in my opinion, is the one Steve Jobs (co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc.) gave at the Stanford commencement in 2005. His encouragement of living each day as if it was your last (he was battling cancer), was one of my catalysts for retiring early and pursuing interests that I did not have time for previously. Yes, waiting for age 60 would have allowed us to have a bigger house and more elaborate trips, but they have not been missed. No, not a bit.
The following is a portion of Steve’s speech that had an affect on me. For the complete text of his speech, read http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-10-06/tech/30249828_1_college-tuition-calligraphy-adoption
“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.”
Some food for thought for those of you struggling with the timing of your retirement or pursuing your dreams…