Monday, August 29, 2005

'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.'

Just in case you missed it last June, Steve Job's commencement address to the Stanford University's class of 2005 is once again in the news. Fortune Magazine republished it in its entirety this past week.

I strongly encourange you to take the time to read the complete transcript. You can access a copy by clicking here. A video of the commencement address can also be viewed by clicking here.

Steve Jobs, former and present CEO of Apple Computer, as well as CEO of Pixar, shared three life lessons in his commencement address that struck a powerful chord -- not only with Standford's graduating class but also with tech workers everywhere.

  1. The first story is about connecting the dots. 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.

  2. The second story is about love and loss. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. 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. 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.

  3. The third story is about death. To help make the big choices in life, remember 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 to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. 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.


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