“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.”
~ Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement address 2005
Okay, I’m going to be perfectly honest here. I am not a Mac. And before last week I knew who Steve Jobs was, but that’s about it. I’ve been reading some of the press about Jobs and it really makes me sad. Of course the fact that he died of a horrible cancer is sad, but even sadder is what an apparently amazing person he was, and that we’re only making a big deal out of it now that he’s gone. I really hope he knew about all the love, admiration and devotion so many people felt for him before he passed away.
Normally I don’t like mushy, gooshy, touchy-feely, reach-for-the-stars, warm and fuzzy quotes. I feel uncomfortable even reading them, most as fake and full of false promise as pair of double E implants. Yech. But I chose to post this quote because as much as other inspirational platitudes echo with saccarine insincerity, this entire speech roars with truth.
Especially in today’s world, where we are supposed to have reached unparalleled levels of freedom in personal expression and celebration of the uniqueness of the individual, a world where bullying and pressures to conform are as still bad as ever.
Steve Jobs seems like he was, indeed, a great man. He did many amazing, innovative, changing-the-world-for-the-better things. But those things are not what made him a great man. His greatness lies in the person that he was and the way he worked and lived his life. Steve Jobs didn’t conform, he didn’t bow down to pressures to fit in and fall in line with conventions and the powers that be. He had the balls to be who he was and do what he wanted to do.
As far as today’s QOD is concerned, Steve Jobs put his money where his mouth is. I think this philosophy is his greatest legacy, and should serve as an example for all of us.
Thank you Mr. Jobs, for being you, and may you RIP.