“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” This Steve Jobs’ quote comes from his remarkable 2005 Stanford commencement address. Doctors told him he had just a few months to live only to learn later his cancer was treatable (at least for the time being). This early brush with death left an indelible mark on him. “Your time is limited,” he said, “so don’t waste it living someone else’s life…Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
Jobs believed “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.” He followed his passion and his life was a unique blend of great success and difficult setbacks. He created Apple in his parents’ garage and built a $2 billion company. Yet, at age 30, he got fired by the company he started. In another twist of fate, he later returned to the company and elevated it again to its preeminent status.
Jobs’ influence on our lives cannot be overstated. He was the leading innovator in the tech revolution, inventing things before we knew we needed them. He not only shaped his own company, he greatly influenced his competitors and we are all better off for it. He had more impact on our lives than any president since Reagan and certainly more than any superstar athlete, rockstar, or Hollywood diva.
In the end, all his money could not buy what he needed most — good health. He reminded us that life and good health are such blessings, gifts to be cherished. Are we making the most of ours? Are you following your inner voice?