Steve Jobs was a private man. In fact, privacy was so sacred to him that he often kept the details of Apple’s latest innovations from workers in other departments. Most of the time, they worked in silos, unaware of what the next team was up to.
The Apple Co-Founder adopted the same strategy to his lifestyle. His unconventional choices were usually kept from the public, except that one time he gave a commencement speech to the graduating class at Stanford in 2005. Although this didn’t come out in the typical interview manner, he revealed more about his success values than he would at any private interview.
Here are some of the inspirational lessons Steve Jobs advised at the time.
I always follow my heart because I trust that it knows the right way
How many people can honestly say that they trust their heart? Steve Jobs has every reason to, given what he went through early in his life. Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College just six months in. This was a big deal because his birth mother had made it a condition for his adoption, and his adoptive parents had put in so much to save for it.
“I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and didn’t think that college would help me figure it out,” said Jobs. “I was spending the money my parents had saved their whole life. So, I made up my mind to drop out and trust that it would be okay.” Steve Jobs followed his heart, and the rest is history.
The worst thing that could happen to you might be the best thing to happen to you
One of the worst things that could happen to you is being kicked out of the company you founded. Steve Jobs was publicly dismissed from Apple in 1985, 10 years after he founded it. To make thing worse, he was fired by the board on the request of Jon Sculley, an executive Steve Jobs himself had interviewed and employed.
“The focal point of my whole adult life was gone, and it was upsetting,” Jobs recalled. “I even considered leaving the Valley. But things slowly began to dawn on me- I still enjoyed what I did. So, I decided to start over.” Steve Jobs went on to found NeXT and Pixar, two powerful companies. And he met his wife. Apple discovered that he was still instrumental after all, and they got him back by acquiring NeXT.
Don’t allow your inner voice to be drowned by anybody, or anything
“Know that your life is limited, and think carefully about how you spend every minute”, Jobs advised the students. “Don’t waste it living somebody else’s dream, and don’t be trapped in the dogma of living the outcome of other people’s thoughts.
Steve Jobs went on to talk about the danger of allowing other people’s opinion to drown your inner voice. One of the most important things, he reiterated, is to follow your heart and intuition. “Somehow, it already knows what you really want to become. Every other thing is secondary,” he said.
Steve Jobs was not very vocal when it came to matters about his private life. But on that sunny morning, he had revealed more than enough to inspire a generation of young, hopeful graduates.