This blog is now #1 in Google Search for the famous Steve Jobs speech. I hope it will impact your life as it has so many others! Thank you for sharing. I look forward to your comments. Happy reading!
Yesterday (October 5, 2011) Steve Jobs died.
I can’t agree with Steve Jobs on his (apparent) religious beliefs, and I wish he had lived with a different giving philosophy, but I am deeply saddened with his death.
This man’s brilliant leadership inspired the world. He definitely inspired me. Steve Jobs, in my opinion was one of the greatest leaders of the past few centuries.
He was a legend.
What I am about to tell you is going to motivate you upward towards your dreams.
On June 12, 2005, Steve Jobs spoke at a Stanford University Graduation. In the brilliant speech, he urged the graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks, including death itself.
Read the highlights from the speech, where Jobs spoke candidly about his own death, just 6 years before it happened…
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like, “If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.”
It made an impression on me… and since then, for the past 33 years I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m 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.
(Later in the speech…)
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’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 to 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.
I just spent 30 minutes to transcribe these notes from the video, only to find out it had already been done! (lol) It’s ok, I’ve now committed these great thoughts to memory.
The full-length (15 min) video.
What if today were the last day of YOUR life?
Would YOU want to do what YOU’RE about to do today?
If the answer is “NO!” for too many days, then YOU know that YOU need to change something.
Because right now, the new IS YOU, but someday not to long from now YOU will gradually become the old and be cleared away.
Your time on earth IS limited; so don’t waste it!
What’s holding YOU back?
There are clear reasons why YOU haven’t risen to the heights of YOUR awesome potential.
Is it the fear of cruel, jealous, and bitter people? Is it the fear of big failure, or big success?
I get it. I’ve been there. Sometimes, fear eats me alive too.
But this world deserves to benefit from whatever YOU have to give it!
I wrote about overcoming fear in my new book.
Make Me A Legend (Chapter 15)
The Trap of Playing it Safe
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.2
Until you overcome this “deepest fear,” you will unconsciously assassinate your God-sized dream in the hopes of preserving yourself. With this kind of fearful thinking, you will be shunning high success and wishing instead for a lowly life of poverty and rejection.
I call this the trap of playing it safe.
In this book, I speak of angry mobs, and the very real danger of losing yourself on the way up. If you aim to make a difference with your life, you will become a target to every negative force in this universe.
Yes, there is so much to risk. Yet, you and I are stuck with this tameless passion in our sacred hearts. We’re tempted to run away to the safety of a no-challenge life. Yet we are driven with a dream that matters.
Deep inside, we are positive there is a way to change the world and not lose ourselves doing it.
We can lead our billion-dollar companies, sit in high political seats, and even run for president or prime minister—all without having to forfeit our values.
Either we stay right here, try our best to play it safe, and we hurry up and burn this legend book and turn down our greatness so we never have to worry about standing out.
Or, we can take a risk!
And if we fall, then at least we will never be like the “man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.”
We will know that:
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena (and we will be that person in the arena), whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at worse, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.3
As for me, I cannot bear the thought of living little when I was born to stand out!
We should not think up a run-of-the-mill dream for ourselves, because we fear potential failure!
If you and I were created for something big, then we should never duck away from God when He smiles in our direction. Instead, we should do everything we can to run our best race with honor, endurance, and a very impressive finish.
I hope this message makes a difference for you. Please share it with your friends, and leave a comment.