Jobs Leaves Behind Machines – and Quotes – to Live By
In grazing the Internet to try to measure the un-measureable, global impact of Steve Jobs on our society, I came across a Chinese website—check out the little birds flying around—that listed some of his most famous quotations. This was after watching BBC this morning and seeing the first 20 minutes devoted to the Apple and Pixar impresario. When you think about the early deaths of true visionaries—like John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Isadora Duncan, Rosalind Franklin, Steve Jobs—it’s easy to think about everything else they could have accomplished had their time been longer. But the fact that they were able to accomplish what they did in such a short time deserves our deepest admiration.
Here are some of the quotes from Jobs:
Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. If you are involved in a growing industry, think of ways to become more efficient; more customer friendly; and easier to do business with. If you are involved in a shrinking industry—get out of it quick and change before you become obsolete; out of work; or out of business. And remember that procrastination is not an option here.
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. Having a sense of purpose and striving towards goals gives life meaning, direction and satisfaction. It not only contributes to health and longevity, but also makes you feel better in difficult times.
We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here? Did you know that you have big things to accomplish in life? And did you know that those big things are getting rather dusty while you pour yourself another cup of coffee, and decide to mull things over rather than do them? We were all born with a gift to give in life, one which informs all of our desires, interests, passions and curiosities. This gift is, in fact, our purpose.
There’s a phrase in Buddhism, “Beginner’s mind.” It’s wonderful to have a beginner’s mind. It is the kind of mind that can see things as they are, which step by step and in a flash can realize the original nature of everything. Beginner’s mind is Zen practice in action. It is the mind that is innocent of preconceptions and expectations, judgments and prejudices.
I think we’re having fun. I think our customers really like our products. And we’re always trying to do better.
Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. There is no shortcut to excellence. You will have to make the commitment to make excellence your priority. Use your talents, abilities and skills in the best way possible and get ahead of others by giving that little extra. Live by a higher standard and pay attention to the details that really do make the difference.
I’m the only person I know that’s lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year…. It’s very character-building. Don’t equate making mistakes with being a mistake. There is no such thing as a successful person who has not failed or made mistakes; there are successful people who made mistakes and changed their lives or performance in response to them, and so got it right the next time. They viewed mistakes as warnings rather than signs of hopeless inadequacy.
This final one is eerie but right on the mark:
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. Everything else is secondary.”
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