Steve Jobs

(February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)

Steven Paul Jobs is the founder of Apple, Pixar and NeXT.

Develop Independent Views

To carve your own path - in your career or life - you have to develop your own views.

Steve Jobs originally went to college because it was what he was supposed to do after graduating high school.

He dropped out when he couldn’t see the value in it…

“I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. So I decided to drop out…it was one of the best decisions I ever made."

Don’t chart your course based on someone else’s map for your life.

Let Curiosity Guide You

There are no how-to books on life (or no good ones, at least).

You have to develop your own guidebook that empowers you to navigate the endless, mysterious expanse.

Curiosity can be that guide (if you embrace it)…

Steve Jobs experienced this when he began dropping in on random classes that sparked his interest.

“Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.”

Curiosity is a mysterious and powerful force.

Have Faith in the Dots

In following his curiosity, Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy course for a semester.

“It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture.”

But it had no practical relevance to his life…or so he thought…

“10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me…It was the first computer with beautiful typography.”

You are just a series of “dots” - moments, decisions, successes, and failures.

Your life is the line that connects them…

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future…This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Go Back to the Starting Line

After being fired from Apple, Steve Jobs felt the weight of tremendous public failure.

He had been fired from the company he founded, after all.

But through self-reflection, he came to see that this very public failure had freed him in a way…

“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.”

Don’t let the burden of external forces drain your life.

Never Settle

In your career, if you have the luxury of choice, never settle for less than love.

Low tolerance for uncertainty often leads to this settling - we fear the uncertainty and settle to escape it.

Resist this urge…

“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.”

Tolerate uncertainty for a bit longer.

Memento Mori

One year before his speech, Steve Jobs had survived a scare with pancreatic cancer.

It was a very real reminder of his mortality and the inescapability of death.

But rather than darkness, this experience brought light…

“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.”

Remember that you must die.

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Fight back against “fitting in” - fight back against normalcy.

“ Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life…Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become…”

The world wants you to be normal and play by the rules.

You have to fight - consistently and diligently - to maintain your uniqueness.

Steve Jobs recognized this as well as anyone in the world.