What Steve Jobs’ Morning Routine Taught Me About Focus


Nothing in life motivated Steve Jobs more than death.

Every morning, he’d stare in the mirror and ask himself this question:

“If today was the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I’m about to do today?”

If too many days went by with the answer being “no,” he made changes in his life. He did this until he hit a consistent yes, which drove him to countless innovations and a company worth $702 billion.

Inspired by his success and focus, six months ago I began asking myself the same question:

Every morning as I leave my bedroom, I see this handwritten note hanging on my wall. It’s my greatest motivator. It gives me energy. It challenges me to live today as if I’m dying tomorrow.

I challenge you to do the same: implement Steve Jobs’ question into your morning routine.

Right now, grab a piece of paper and write this down:

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”

Now put it in your pocket.

When you go home tonight, tape it on your bathroom mirror. Or on your bedroom door. Or next to your toothbrush. When you see it tomorrow morning, take 15 seconds to reflect:

  • Are you being the best friend/parent/spouse/sibling you can be today?
  • Are you completely present and aware during all face-to-face interactions today?
  • Do you love your job? If not, what are you doing to change that today?
  • Are you having as much fun as you could possibly have today?

I’ve discovered this mindset engrains a laser-focus mentally, akin to the late Steve Jobs. It subconsciously eliminates insignificant problems and prioritizes important ones.

Adopt this early-morning habit and your day automatically begins with purpose and drive.

Treat today like it’s your last, and you will never feel more alive.