The lessons from Steve Jobs Speech


The commencement address by Steve Jobs (the founder of Apple Inc, and co-founded Pixar Animation Studios, NeXT Software Inc. ) at Stanford University is the most inspiring speeches of all time. Read the Text of Steve Jobs' Commencement address (2005).

Here I'm publishing the lessons we can learn from Steve Jobs most inspiring speech.

(The sentence highlighted are excerpts from his speech. For his full speech visit Stanford University website). His speech is highly influenced by the spiritual lessons that he learned from India. His overall outlook, attitude towards life is simply amazing.

Jobs says “I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out.”
Lessons : This is the phase, each one of us started as. No Idea what we want to do in life. Parents use to fill that by insisting what we have to become. Doctors, Engineers (Whatever it may be). They will insist that so heavily on children that, they don’t even bother to care what actually their child wants to be, or what is his/her capability. When that dream remains as a dream, they will get disappointed quickly.
So It’s better to dream of your life your life and see how you can bring that dream into reality. What you want to be in future should decide what education you have to get or what you have to study. Your education should not decide your future.

"I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life in college. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made."
The toughest decisions in life is quite scary.  We don’t know what happens in future, Whatever happens, it happens for the sake of goodness. So believe in yourself and god. 

I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it.
Difficulties comes to you with a purpose, accept it, face it. It will shape your future. 

Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.
Create a curiosity towards life, nature and your surroundings. It will keep you going till the end. There are lot of people, whose interests turned them to be celebrities. There are lot of things on this earth, the whole life is not enough to know about everything. But at least you can learn whichever is seems feasible to you.
He gives an example of his calligraphy course, and how it helped him later.

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combination, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. 
We can’t predict the things about the future. God gives you his best when you don’t ask for anything. Be ready grab whatever comes to your way. If you find anything interesting and feel you are passionate about that, continue doing that even more passionately. One or the other it is going to help you in future.
it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

"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".
Again a famous quote from Bhagavad-Gita, whatever happens, it happens for goodness. Believe it, there is a purpose for everything in life. As we look into it very closely, we are not able to make any sense out of that. But later when we can see the bigger picture, everything makes sense.
Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad-Gita, It’s responsibility to do the work sincerely without thinking of it’s fruits or results. Just do the best and leave the rest to me.

I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh
That’s most important in life. Find out what you love to do as early as possible, otherwise you will be forced to love whatever you do.

I got fired. I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
Never accept failure. Start over again. Try try try till you die.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. 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.
Again a great lesson: believe that whatever happened, it happened for good. Don’t lose faith.

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.
Whatever you do, you love it or do what you love to do. But give the hundred percent to it. Your work should at least satisfy you.  

"If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." "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.
When you think that you are going to die soon, you will not do the things that is not important. You will do only those which is important. That way you can save lot of time and energy for yourselves. Most of the time it will help you take better decisions.

There is nothing to lose. Whatever you gained, you gained from here, whatever you lose, you lost here. You are not going to carry anything after death. So need not to worry that I’ll lose something. Again a great lesson from Bhagavad-Gita.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.
Nothing is permanent in this universe. Only permanent thing is change. 

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. 
Ours is a soul(i.e. Athma), it’s not independent. It’s connected with the super soul(i.e. Paramathma). As the supervisor assign work to it’s subordinates, Paramathma will tell what is the purpose of your life to your Athma. So Listen to your inner voice.

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sfauthor said...

Didn't know Jobs referenced the Gita so much in that famous address. There's a new edition here:

Anonymous said...

Yes! Steve jobs was in India searching for spiritual enlightenment. Spirituality helps us to balance the life both in happy times and bad times.

Here is an article in Time website about Steve Jobs

Dr. Chandra Kumar Jain said...



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