In June 2005, Steve Jobs delivered the commencement address at Stanford. It was a talk where he promised to tell “only three stories about my life. No big deal. Just three stories…” In these three stories, he encompasses formative moments that helped make him what he is and he outlines several notions these recent graduates would do well to remember. They include:
Find what you love.
“You’ve got to find what you love. 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.”
Live each day as if it were your last.
“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was you’re last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I’ve looked in the mirror every day 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 is “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 all 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.”
Stay hungry. Stay foolish.
“No one wants to die. 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’s 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. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s quite true. 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 other’s 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.”
It’s a very good speech, and I recommend you watch it: