by Jan Gunter
Steve Jobs died yesterday, and I feel like we are experiencing a collective cultural sadness and joy.
He changed our world with the Apple II (I remember that machine), the iMac (we have one at home), the iPod (I have the Nano), the iPhone (finally got one in February), the iPad (my mother has done more with hers than she could have imagined) and more.
But underlying these amazing inventions, are the truths by which Steve Jobs lived. Much of that truth was encapsulated beautifully in the graduation speech he gave at Stanford several years ago. In that speech he talked about his adoption, why he dropped out of college, being fired from Apple, and his original diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from that speech.
“Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith…”
The families who use our services certainly understand this. No one really ever expects to have to stay at the Ronald McDonald House or visit a Ronald McDonald Family Room, but we’re there when that brick hits them.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards….Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path. And that will make all the difference.”
“You’ve got to find what you love…..The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle…”
As the mother of two young adults, I love this advice and preach it regularly. Steve exemplified it.
“If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right…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. 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.”
Wow. What if today was your last day? Would you change some things?
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there….”
Now this one makes me chuckle. I do indeed want to go to heaven, but I totally agree with Steve here. I really, really, really want to live this life – this one I’ve been given here on earth. The other one in heaven — God willing — will come soon enough.
Thanks, Steve, for showing us how to live until you die.
What is your favorite thing about the life and work of Steve Jobs?