Day #990:Steve Jobs on Living, Failure and Creating Your Own Path

Most people know Steve Jobs for his work as CEO of Apple and the person who revolutionized the Personal Computing, Mobile phone, Music, and numerous other industries.

Steve Jobs was ahead of his time and what is more important than his work with Apple that we don’t often get to read about was Steve’s philosophy of life. How he thought about life and his commitment to challenging common beliefs in society.

Nothing demonstrates this more than this 46-second interview excerpt featured in a PBS documentary on Jobs. This clip captures his wisdom, his genius, and his vision for life more articulately and succinctly than anything else.

Steve shares his vision for the world as follows:

When you grow up you, tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

This clip is actually part of an interview Steve conducted for the  Santa Clara Valley Historical Association, while Jobs was still at NeXT. Here shares his though further:

The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it.
I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

He further shares his thought on failure which I completely agree with:


Most people never pick up the phone, most people never ask. And that’s what separates, sometimes, the people that do things from the people that just dream about them. You gotta act. And you gotta be willing to fail… if you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.”

Steve is  right on this last point.And we are all culpable one way or another of letting our dreams remain dreams while we sleep walk through life everyday going to jobs slowly killing us. We never act. We are okay with filling our days with activity: checking emails, flipping through pictures on Instagram and checking every second to see how many people have liked our post. We are merely existing instead of living.

Here is a final thought from Steve’s Stanford University commencement address, one of the best works of public speaking available on the internet today. I would recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet. In the final phase of the address, Steve delivers one of the most important piece of wisdom we should all connect to everyday:

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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