At the end of this post is one of my all time favourite speeches from the inspirational and sadly missed Steve Jobs. Given to Stanford University graduates 6 years before his untimely death and during a period where he believed he had beaten pancreatic cancer. It is filled with true wisdom gained from his own personal life experience.
In a 15 minute speech, he beautifully presents 3 golden nuggets of wisdom that we all could benefit from.
1. Our life is not random although it may seem it at times. Every experience, including our adversities is creating a pattern, pulling us towards our destiny. The way it all fits together is rarely obvious until you look back. When things seem random, impossible, unfair, trust that they are part of a greater pattern. An essential part of your journey. They are giving you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it, to be who you truly are and should be in life.
“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. 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” [at 4 minutes 53 seconds]
“It was awful tasting medicine but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith”. [at 7 minutes 53 seconds]
2. Find work you love because the only way to be great at what you do, is to love the work you do. Don’t settle for less. You spend too much of your life working, whether that’s as a PAYE employee, working for yourself, doing a trade, rearing a family or making a home. To settle for less just leads to dissatisfaction.
“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. 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” [at 8 minutes 07 seconds]
3. Spend your time doing things that are important to you. Don’t live someone else’s life and don’t postpone till tomorrow, next week or next year the things that really matter. You never know when life will turn. Treat today, this week, this month, this year as a gift. Don’t take it for granted.
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something” [at 9 minutes and 12 second]
“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” [at 12 minutes and 16 seconds]