Steve Jobs told Stanford grads in 2005 to not live someone else's life.
About 10 years ago, Steve Jobs, the legendary co-founder of Apple and Pixar, delivered the commencement speech at Stanford University. Woven in-between the stories of Job’s life, he gave sage advice to the graduating class of 2005, and for everyone who wants to live their life to the fullest.
This speech came a year after Jobs was diagnosed with cancer. Jobs’ speech covers life, love and death and how it all shaped him.
When Jobs started college, he dropped out as a full-time student after six month and started dropping into classes he found interesting for the next 18 months. He took his own path and chose courses that interested him, like calligraphy, and later he saw the worth when it came to creating the first Macintosh desktop computer.
As Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future ... 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.”
Jobs reflected on when he was fired from Apple, the company he started. He was rejected, but he was still in love with what he did. He said that this gave him the opportunity to enter the most creative part of his life before going back to Apple.
Because of those experiences, Jobs said not to give up and keep searching for what you love to do, because that is the most important thing you can do.
“You’ve got to find what you love,” said Jobs. “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 will know it when you find it. And like any great relationship, it gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking—don’t settle.”
As Jobs reflected on life and love, he also noted how important death is when thinking about life.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” said Jobs. “Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other people’s 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. “
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