Notes & Quotes posts will be where I post links to the resources used in my book Corporate Empathy. I am starting with Steve Jobs who’s ideas on life and seeking purpose I have previously written about here. His 2005 Stanford University Commencement is the story of a man who allowed life’s experiences shape the path he took.
At 09:00 Jobs recalls that he has always lived by the following words when it comes to accessing what he was doing in his life.
For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “if today was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am 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… 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.
At 4:50 Jobs talks about trusting that the people, events, and experiences of your life will eventual make sense. The official Stanford transcript is different and what is printed in my book Corporate Empathy.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because 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 difference.
At 12:15 Jobs encourages the crowd that they must make their own hopes and desires the priority of their lives.
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.