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7 Life Lessons From Steve Jobs That Everyone Needs To Remember

7 Life Lessons From Steve Jobs That Everyone Needs To Remember

As a computer nerd, I’ve always loved Steve Jobs. I still get in a mood during the fall to watch a documentary or movie about him. I haven’t seen Ashton Butcher’s inaccurate portrayal of my hero yet, but I’ve read enough jokes and negativity about him online that I want to make sure I add something positive into the internet’s vast collective voice about Steve Jobs, the man, and how he affected humanity.

I decided the best way to do this is to write a proper eulogy for the man. I’m no good with looking death in the face, so I’ve never written a eulogy. Luckily, I stumbled upon Eulogy Consultants, who had a blog breaking down exactly what I wanted to do: memorialize the man by demonstrating the impact of his words.

Everybody Ages

“It’s rare that you see an artist in his 30s or 40s able to really contribute something amazing.” (Playboy, Feb 1985)

Steve Jobs understood that innovation is driven by youth; it’s the children who are driving our world. Because of Jobs’ spiritual and experimental days, he saw the world in a much different way than everyone else. You need to get your mind straight as soon as possible, because all those great things you hear and see in the media are being done by people in their 20s. Even Eminem, who was supposedly the greatest MC in the history of rap, was artistically washed up by his 40s.

Perspective Matters

“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” (Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple, 1987)

Life is all about perspective. You would think every CEO is the same – greedy, detached from the average citizen, etc. There’s a huge difference between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, though. The difference is in their perspective. Steve Jobs cared about what he was selling, and, as The Beatles taught us, that love makes all the difference in the world.

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Independence and Freedom

“Why join the Navy . . . if you can be a pirate?” (Young Guns, 2009)

If you understand hacker culture, you understand what Jobs is saying here. Basically, if you’re going to get your hands dirty, do it for yourself. It’s much more fun to be Jack Sparrow than the uptight British Navy admiral – there’s less responsibility, and you move faster, accomplish more, and reap the whole of your rewards. A battle is a battle, regardless of who you’re fighting for, so I’ll always choose the pirate’s life.

Taking Responsibility

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” (Steve Jobs, the Journey Is the Reward, 1988)

Everybody makes mistakes. Everyone has a bad day or does something wrong, with or without thought for how it affects the people around them. In order to be a true innovator, you have to be willing to accept these mistakes and correct them. I always hated finger pointing – if something’s broken, just fix it. It’s when you start pointing fingers that nothing gets done. Pick up the phone, and get your team working on moving forward. Looking back is a luxury best saved for later.

Courage and Persistence

“You know, I’ve got a plan that could rescue Apple. I can’t say any more than that it’s the perfect product and the perfect strategy for Apple. But nobody there will listen to me.” (Fortune, Sept 1995)

Never forget Steve Jobs’ greatest successes came after he was fired from his own company – the company he built. He stood his ground through thick and thin, and he did things his way. Steve Jobs may have been controlling and a perfectionist, but he was successful. His contributions will be remembered long after any stories of his transgressions. It was his persistence and willingness to do anything for his company to win that turned Apple from the PC Wars loser into the iGeneration winner.

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Art and Transparency

“We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.” (Triumph of the Nerds, 1996)

The music and movie industries want us to believe they control all media and that anyone who dares to use any of their work should be destroyed. The problem is the individual actors, musicians, writers, DJs, etc., don’t get to keep any of these profits, so I’m not interested in purchasing that line of garbage. Art is free, and anybody can steal whatever they want. Yes, the artist should get credit, and how that artist monetizes that credit is at the discretion of that artist. That’s how a truly free market works.

Simplicity

“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.” (iSteve, 2011)

The biggest thing we all need to learn from Steve Jobs is that simplicity is the essence of life. Rather than walking around with your head in the clouds, upload your data to the clouds, submit yourself to your Google, Facebook, and Apple masters, and continue maintaining the drone army. We’re living in 1984, it’s just not what we thought it would be. It wouldn’t be so bad if we had control over our own privacy. As we move toward integrated, wearable tech as the norm, be prepared for an entirely new world.

Whatever happens, just remember what you wanted when you woke up for the very first time. Concentrate on your breath, your smile, and making a positive contribution to the world. That’s what Steve would do – that’s what iDo…

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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