Steve Jobs will be remembered as a pioneer and one of the most creative innovators of our time. In 2005, Jobs delivered a commencement address to Stanford University Graduates. In it, he shared 3 key insights into his life that impacted who he was and how he lived.
#1 Dropping out allows you to drop in.
Steve Jobs is a college drop out. In fact, after 6 months of college taking classes that had little or no interest to him and knowing that the courses were costing his parents a small fortune, he dropped out. This act freed up time for him to now "drop in" on classes that were interesting including a calligraphy class.
None of anything he learned in this class seemed to have any practical application in his current life. But 10 years later when he was designing the Mac, all that information became the basis for the wonderful typography that now exists.
Lesson: You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future even when you are led down strange paths. Creating a vacuum for new opportunities can only exist when you let go of actions that are not moving you towards your passion.
#2 Loss is a part of growth.
After 10 years into the development of Apple, Jobs was fired from the company he started. He had hired someone who he thought would be a great fit to lead the company but after a falling out, the board sided with the new person and Jobs was out.
This was a devastating humiliation for Jobs - losing his company and being a public failure. But he knew he still loved what he did and decided to begin again. He ultimately founded NEXT and Pixar which ultimately produced the highest grossing animation film, Toy Story. And in a strange turn of events, Apple eventually bought NEXT and he was back at the helm of his former company.
Lesson: If you love what you do and you believe that your work is great, you cannot fail. The key is to keep looking for what you love and do it every day.
#3 "Live your life as if each day is your last and one day you'll be right."
When Steve was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the doctor's did not give him time beyond 3 - 6 months. A biopsy later revealed that his cancer was operable and a successful surgery was performed.
For Jobs, looking death in the face gave him a renewed vision for life and kept him focused with a "time is limited" attitude. He knew that following his heart and intuition were his best path to success and he did not allow the "noise of other's" to drown out his own voice. He didn't live trapped by dogma or the desire to live someone else's life but maintained a belief in his own passion and destiny. And he lived his life as if each day might be his last.
Lesson: Live your own life daily staying clear of those who would try to keep you from your dreams. Know what you want and love and pursue it with the same sense of urgency.
In his final words to the graduating class, he left them with this thought:
Stay hungry, Stay foolish. And always stay in pursuit of your dreams.
Carol Thompson is CEO and founder of Fired Up and Fabulous. Mentor, coach, speaker, consultant, friend and colleague to entrepreneurs and small business owners
As a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur and business owner, she has created strategies, developed plans and implemented systems that have assisted hundreds of individuals in building thriving careers and profitable businesses.
As a skilled trainer and presenter, she brings her passion for learning and education to individuals and organizations alike.
As a career and business strategist, she assists small business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals in building their business and careers by staying focused on the principles of success. Her unique intuitive abilities allow her to partner with clients in finding their passion, aligning their mission and creating pathways to profits.