“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 Jobs
The Macintosh, the Macbook, iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad and one of the most successful brands ever created – these are all incredible components that exist as the result of Steve Jobs’ vision. It’s possible, however, that the advice offered to a few graduates may be an even more powerful legacy than any of the products he created.
In Spring of 2005, Jobs delivered the commencement address to the graduates of Stanford University. He shared three stories conveying separate points he wanted the students to understand.
He began by reminding them that life consists of innumerable, seemingly separate events. In the moment, there appears no real rhythm; no real connection. Jobs’ suggested, that those events, indeed your entire life, begin to make sense looking backward. In looking back and connecting the dots, you’re able to finally grasp how everything leads perfectly to where you are today. The willingness to trust in this truth made all the difference in his life.
Jobs then shared his second point: the beauty found in love lost. The love he lost was when the board of Apple Computer fired him. They forced him to stop running the company he began; they made him leave the company he loved! He felt like a total failure and could make little sense of the heartbreak. Standing in front of the graduates years later, he was able to connect the dots and realize the immense gift of that loss. It forced him to stretch into new areas, to reinvent himself, to be creative, to trust in tomorrow. It lead to his marriage, to his successful launch of Pixar and NeXT, and to the eventual reunion with his first love, Apple. It served as a reminder to never settle, to passionately fight for what you love.
Jobs’ concluded by sharing the question he asked himself each morning for the past 33 years: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” It forced him to make courageous, life-enriching, creative choices. It fueled his passion to innovate and follow his heart. The question didn’t alleviate his fear upon receiving the diagnosis of cancer, but it provided great solace knowing that every day he could answer that he was doing exactly what he loved; he lived up to the fullness of his promise. The diagnosis and his daily question reminded Jobs’ that life’s great change agent is death. It comes to each of us and allows the next generation the ability to advance and improve upon what we began. Instead of running from it, the notion of death was something to be embraced.
Steve Jobs lead made an indelible mark on humanity. His innovation, passion and hunger changed the computing, animation, music and communication industries. His impact is experienced throughout the world. More than simply his products, it was the truth shared with those Stanford students that willed those products into existence: trust in a tomorrow even greater than today, fight for your passion and loves, and live each day like it might be your last.
My friends, have you ever been curious what you tomorrow looks like – and how to make it greater than today? Have you ever been interested in clarifying your passion and interests – and discovering how to fight for them? Have you ever wondered how to truly live each day like it may be your last – and experiencing the joy of that freedom?
For the past several years I’ve been building a process that allows you to do exactly what Steve Jobs championed for the Stanford graduates. It’s a process that begins with you clicking this link, watching the video, and taking a few minutes to answer 21 questions. The questions will challenge you to think differently; the Life Summary I’ll send back to you will challenge you to live differently.
Follow Steve’s advice: “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.”
Choose today to join me in the movement to IgniteLifeToday!