Here I was surfing facebook on my Apple Macbook when I saw a status update stating RIP Steve Jobs. Like so many other’s Steve Jobs have indirectly impacted my life through his creative innovations.
Almost 2 years ago I came across a speech he gave at a Stanford graduation, titled “How to live life before you die”. It was the best speech I ever heard, and at the time a speech I needed to here.
Confronted with his own mortality. Steve shared with the graduating class of 2005 three stories from his life. Below are a few life lessons I picked up from the speech.
Life is about connecting the dots. Our lives don’t always follow a straight path. I had my life all figured out from start to finish, any deviation from the plan would not have been accepted. I did everything to preserve my destiny, but God had others plans for me. I travelled on some bumpy roads. But there were valuable lessons I needed to learn on each of them, lessons I would never have know outside of my failures.
“you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
Find your passion, no matter how long it takes. I did the college thing. I even went to grad school. I hated getting up every day doing to work. However, on June 15, 2009, I used my new found freedom to discover and pursue my passion. I had no idea what it would have been until I found it. Photography and creative designs were the farthest things from my mind, but they turn out to be two of the things I am most passionate about in addition to motivating others. I get really excited taking pictures, and designing inspirational cards. Steve lost his job at Apple when he was 30. But his passion kept him going.
“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”
“You’ve got to find what you love. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
We only get to live once, don’t let fear steal your birthright. One day I will die. As much as I want to believe I will live for ever, the reality is what it is. I might never attain the level of notoriety as Steve Job did, but I want to die knowing that I gave life my all. If I never achieve all the things I aspire to do, I want to be known as the girl who tired even when everyone scoffed at my dreams. I want to die looking fear in the eyes and saying, ” I win.”
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”
“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 you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Steve might be gone, but his legacy will live on for a long time.
What will your legacy be? What will you be remembered for? It is not too late to change directions.
“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”