The first half of 2020 has certainly been different than anyone imagined going into the year. The world seemed pretty locked down, changing the way we do business. Weddings have been postponed, extended family gatherings delayed, and even graduation ceremonies were cancelled or, at best, given an alternative format. Our experience with the pandemic, hopefully, has given as a reminder as to the things that are important.

Going back to my mention of graduation ceremonies, I am reminded of Stanford University’s ceremony in 2005. Steve Job’s gave the commencement address just a few months after getting his cancer diagnosis. Here is a piece of what he told those graduates.

“Remembering I’ll be dead soon helps me make the big choices in life, because almost everything – expectations, pride, fear of embarrassment or failure – falls away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

Perhaps the events of this year have been a bit of a wakeup call for you as they have for me. When we come face to face with our own fragility, as Steve Jobs did, everything that is prideful, silly, petty, frivolous – all of it fades – “leaving only what is truly important.”

You might ask yourself today – “What is truly important?” And once you answer that question, I would encourage you to focus on and pursue those things.