Steve Jobs gave an awe-inspiring commencement address at Stanford University on 12 June 2005. It may be years ago, but it is as insightful today.
The address is built up upon 3 personal stories about:
Connecting the dots
Steve dropped out of college, he did however hang around and dropped into classes that atracted him. One was Calligraphy, which led to having the fonts on our computers as we know them today.
“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. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
Love and Loss
Steve loved Apple, he created Apple, he was fired from Apple and he was devastated, but he hit back.
“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. 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. 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. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.”
“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, some day you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "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.”
Steve fought cancer since 2004. He won some battles, but lost the fight in 2011. His visionary leadership however is still an inspiration to many.
View the full commencement address here: