For Steve Jobs, the most important tool to help him 'make the big choices in life' was to remember that he would be dead soon.
The former chief executive of Apple Computer was addressing the 114th batch of graduates at Stanford University in June 12, 2005.
In the address, he drew from some of the most key moments in his life and urged the graduate to chase their dreams and see opportunities in setbacks, including death itself.
He said: '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.'
He ended with the exhortation: 'Stay hungry. Stay foolish.'
A video of the address was posted on Youtube in March 2008 and has since received over six million views.
Here is the full transcript:
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?