In tribute to Steve

Written on October 11, 2011 by in Artistry & inspiration

I just watched Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford University.

When he lead with how expensive Stanford is and how dropping out of college was one of the best decisions he’d ever made, I wondered if the invitation committee and leadership team were having a collective “oh shit!” moment. As with his start in life, the start of his speech was unconventional but, as you’d expect from a visionary like Jobs, in entirety it is truly momentous. In fact, I’ve seen his speech referred to as “The Gettysburg address of graduation speeches.” Wow! If you haven’t watched it, you can do so here:

And here are some of my favorite takeaways:

“You can’t connect the dots [of your life] looking forward. You can only connect them looking backward, 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—because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path and that will make all the difference.”

“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 and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it and, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”

“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 importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Thank you, Steve, for everything you’ve brought into the world and for these thoughts you’ve left behind. They, like your memory, will be treasured.


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