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10 Inspirational Quotes From Steve Jobs That Will Change Your Thoughts On Your Career

10 Inspirational Quotes From Steve Jobs That Will Change Your Thoughts On Your Career

Steve Jobs was a difficult person to understand and work with. He was infamous for setting impossible deadlines, obsessing over design, creating a culture of conflict, and crying in meetings. But, at his core, Jobs was a simple man who loved what he did.

Through his passion, Jobs not only inspired an entire industry but whole generations to “think different” — to break with conformity and join the cult of the remarkable few. These are the dream makers. The entrepreneurs. The freelancers. The problem solvers who will not apologize for pissing you off.

I am hopeful that these 10 quotes will inspire you to join the ranks of the remarkable few.

1. “That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”

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    Have you seen what happens when things get complicated? Of course, you have — you have experienced it far too often. It produces difficulty, frustration, and anxiety. Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits, explains that we must create an environment where simplicity is possible.

    Tip: Create focus blocks of time. This way, you can focus on the work that matters most and block out all other distractions.

    2. “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your 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.”

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      You are completely disengaged from your work and your boss is beginning to take notice. But this is the job that everyone said you’d be great at, so why do you hate it so much?

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      Cal Newport, professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, explains that to build a career that you are satisfied with, you must first answer the question “What way of working and living will nurture my passion?”

      Tip: Answering Newport’s question is an important step, but what’s more important is to not fixate on regrets.

      3. “I’m as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.”

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        Yes, you are a people pleaser. Regardless of what is asked of you, your answer is “yes.” So the work piles on and nothing gets finished.

        David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done, explains that much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what you’ve started.

        Tip: Say “no” and say it often. If what is being asked of you does not align itself with your goals, then it will become a distraction from the work that needs to get done.

        4. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

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          You are terrified of failing and have given self-oppression a permanent place at the table. It’s no wonder you are not a successful entrepreneur.

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          Michael Bloomberg, former NYC Mayor, explains that being an entrepreneur has more to do with “a way of looking at the world.”

          Tip: Instead of seeing an obstacle, take an intelligent risk and turn it into an opportunity.

          5. “My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”

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            You waste most of your time in meetings. What’s worse is you are so busy that you have become the bottleneck on many projects and your team members are upset.

            Productivity consultant David Allen explains that when you book yourself in back-to-back meetings, you have little time to reevaluate and process information.

            Tip: You should create a weekly review. The review builds in time for you to reevaluate and process the week’s meetings.

            6. “We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and everyone should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? So this is what we’ve chosen to do with our life.”

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              You’ve allowed fear to paralyze you. You spend your days regretting your past decisions and dreaming about the future you could have had.

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              Do you want a better life? Make the commitment to go for it.

              Tip: Ask yourself, “When it comes time for me to die, what will I regret not doing?” That is what matters most — so go and do it.

              7. “I met Woz when I was 13, at a friend’s garage. He was about 18. He was, like, the first person I met who knew more electronics than I did at that point. We became good friends because we shared an interest in computers and we had a sense of humor. We pulled all kinds of pranks together.”

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                There are very few things in life better than a friend.

                Tip: Never take friendship for granted — it must be cultivated.

                8. “The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

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                  It’s a big job to put a ding in the world. But what if you took that same energy and put a ding in your world?

                  Tip: Instead of having someone else listen to your problems, listen to someone else’s problems and help solve them.

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                  9. “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”

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                    John C. Maxwell, the author of 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, explains that we all must grow to discover our purpose. To become a better parent, you need to grow at relationships. To become a better entrepreneur, you need to grow in self-confidence. To become a better anything, you need to grow.

                    Tip: Keep a growth journal and record what you have learned in your life.

                    10. “And one more thing.”

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                      Life is a journey. It’s a tapestry of singular events. You can sit on your butt and hope that your calling finds you, or you can pursue your calling one baby step at a time.

                      Tip: Take a moment to reflect on your life. Do you notice any recurring themes? If you do, that just might be your calling saying “hello.”

                      Question: Which Steve Jobs quotes did you relate to the most?

                      photo credit: Pinterest

                      Featured photo credit: Zadi Diaz via Flickr

                      Featured photo credit: Steve Jobs/Zadi Diaz via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on December 3, 2019

                      7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

                      7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

                      I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

                      It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

                      A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

                      1. Define Career Success for Yourself

                      Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

                      What does career success mean to you?

                      This is about defining your career success:

                      • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
                      • Not what people may think of you
                      • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
                      • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

                      “A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

                      When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

                      There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

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                      • Work-life balance
                      • Opportunities for growth and advancement
                      • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

                      Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

                      • What do you mean by work-life balance?
                      • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
                      • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

                      Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

                      • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
                      • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
                      • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

                      Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

                      • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
                      • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
                      • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

                      Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

                      Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

                      What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

                      2. Know Your Values

                      Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

                      There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

                      Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

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                      • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
                      • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
                      • Put the words on your fridge
                      • Add the words on your vision board

                      Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

                      3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

                      When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

                      How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

                      Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

                      • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
                      • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
                      • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
                      • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
                      • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
                      • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

                      Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

                      • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
                      • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
                      • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
                      • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

                      Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

                      By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

                      4. Determine Your Top Talents

                      What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

                      What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

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                      What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

                      What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

                      What do you notice?

                      5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

                      Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

                      I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

                      Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

                      Keep these words visible too!

                      Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

                      6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

                      Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

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                      Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

                      “These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

                      7. Manage Your Own Career

                      Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

                      Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

                      Summing Up

                      For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

                      Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

                      Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

                      1. Define Career Success for Yourself
                      2. Know Your Values
                      3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
                      4. Determine Your Top Talents
                      5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
                      6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
                      7. Manage Your Own Career

                      “When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

                      Good luck and best wishes always!

                      More Tips on Advancing Your Career

                      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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