Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs: More Than Just Your Typical CEO

I don’t own an iPod, although all three of my kids and my husband do. I don’t have an iPhone or an iTouch, although my eldest son does. I don’t have an iPad, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Santa will put one in my Christmas stocking.

That doesn’t mean I can’t or don’t have tremendous awe and respect for what Steve Jobs has done in the world of business, pop culture and in representing the wonderful things that can happen when one takes risks and follows one's dreams.

Though Jobs died this week of pancreatic cancer at the young age of 56 – leaving behind a wife and four children – Jobs' vision will live on, not just because of his role in revolutionizing several aspects of American life, but because of the inspiration he offered to the rest of us. His 2005 Stanford commencement speech is a wonderful summary of his attitude and beliefs, a year after he’d been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and he'd survived:

“I was lucky. I found what I loved to do early in life.”

“Sometimes life’s gonna to hit you in the head with a brick, don’t lose faith.”

“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 . . . 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.”

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life, almost everything . . . [falls] away in the face of death leaving only what is truly important.”

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

“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.”

“Stay hungry, stay foolish.”


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