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.”
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.”
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?
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
You’ve allowed fear to paralyze you. You spend your days regretting your past decisions and dreaming about the future you could have had.
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.”
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.”
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.
9. “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”
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.”
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