Here’s Jobs giving the commencement speech at Stanford in June 2005, shortly after his first surgery for pancreatic cancer, when he thought, or at least he said, that everything was fine.
The address is funny, wise and exceedingly sobering (how many graduation speakers tell 20-year-olds: “Your time is limited”).
Here’s Jobs on death as a motivating force:
“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 that you have something to lose. You are already naked — there is no reason not to follow your heart.”
(Hat tip to Tina Barseghian at MindShift, with a great tribute to Jobs today.)