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Saturday, October 22, 2011


In Passing, On Steve Jobs' Passing

In trying to find words to express how I feel about the recently deceased Steve Jobs, I find his words work best. I know that he communicated his ideas through words and, unerringly, he chose them with deliberateness. Constantly, he used them for furthering.

In Steve Jobs' own words, then, from the Commencement address at Stanford, spoken to the graduating class on June 12, 2005 when he was CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios:

"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."

I love those two words, they're deep: "Don't settle." Don't ever think you don't have another option because you do. What you hold dear is worth more than assenting to another's limitations. It may not be the easiest path, but it will bring you back the love you invested through joy and satisfaction.

When it's a truth, it has universal application. The same advice that can bring you success in business also applies to the dance floor.

"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."

There is is again -  don't settle for less. In fact, push to make it even better than originally conceived. Know yourself, invest yourself.

Steve continues, "When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: 'If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right.' It made an impression on me, and since then...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.

"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. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall 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. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

Listen to these words from renowned mystic, scholar, activist and Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, in his book, "Be Still And Know," said, "Understanding and love are values tht transcend dogma." Jobs said much the same to the Stanford grads.

"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."

Jobs was right on the mark there, too. It does take courage to empty your head and heart of old thinking and concepts to embrace the complete unknown. Empty, you do not block out new information. That courage is in you. Own it.

"When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation....On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now...I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."

Follow those words and you could just end up making a dent in the universe.

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