Steve Jobs death was announced today. He was adopted, dropped out of college, went on to found an iconic brand, got fired by the company that he founded, and ultimately ended back at Apple as CEO. Most will agree that he was a great visionary, innovator and leader.
One of the techniques that coaches will sometimes use, is to get the client to imagine they are on their deathbed, reviewing their life. How would they like to be remembered? What would they like to have achieved? How have they contributed to humankind? This helps energise, clarify values, and set meaningful goals.
Just read what Steve Jobs said about death in his speech at the commencement speech that he made to Stanford University students in 2005. These are powerful words indeed:-
“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. Because 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. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
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.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And 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. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
We can’t guarantee to make you into a Steve Jobs. But with your commitment we can help you to change your lives for the better, to move away from the ties that are holding you back and to reach out towards the goals that will truly energise and motivate you. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Thank you Steve for your inspirational life, example and fine words.
See Steve Jobs speech in full:-