For the past 33 years, I’ve looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

在过去的 33 年,我每天早上都对着镜子问自己:“如果今天是生命的最后一天,我会做我准备要做的事情吗?”。每当我连续太多天都得到“不”的答案时,我就知道我必须有所改变了。

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve 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.

提醒自己快死了,是我人生中下重大决定时所用过的最重要的方法。因为几乎每件事 – 所有的外界期望、所有名誉、所有对困窘或失败的恐惧 – 在面对死亡时,都消失了,只有最重要的东西才会留下。

Remembering that you are going to die is the beat 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.

提醒自己快死了,是我所知避免掉入自己有东西要失去了的陷阱里最好的方法。人生不带来,死不带去,没什么道理不顺心而为。

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, ant it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I did not even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months.

一年前,我被诊断出癌症。我再早上 7:30 作了身体扫描,我的胰脏清楚的长了一个肿瘤。可我连胰脏是什么都不知道。医生告诉我,那几乎可以确定是一种不治之症,我大概只能活三到六个月了。

My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try and tell your kids everything. You thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family.

医生建议我回家,好好处理后事,这是医生对临终病人的标准建议。那代表你得试着在几个月内把你将来十年想跟小孩讲的话讲完。那代表你得把每件事情都搞定,家人才会尽量轻松。

It means to say your goodbyes.

那代表你得跟所有人说再见了。