It’s now Friday, October 7, 2011 and Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple – as if he needs an introduction – died this past Wednesday. If you’ve followed any of the coverage, you likely know, or already knew: he started Apple in a garage with a friend; he was later ousted by the Board; and he was later brought back with Apple’s acquisition of NeXT, a company he also founded.
Since this blog is about the ways we find fulfillment, I’d like to focus on something I heard Jobs say in a commencement speech to Stanford, in which Jobs shares three of his life changing stories. He explains that when he was fired from Apple, he thought about leaving Silicon Valley, but he chose not to because he loved what he did, a quality that Jobs thought was paramount to success. He says, “You’ve got to find what you love…Your work is going to fill a large part of your life…The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle.”
And he advises us not to give up looking until we’ve found it. He tells us that if we listen to our hearts we’ll realize we already know what we want, and that we have to shed the expectations we’re burdened with to create our own story.
Jobs was lucky and the exception. He discovered what he loved at an early age, starting Apple at age 20. Those of us who are not the exception shouldn’t give up trying, even if we can’t hear what our heart is trying to tell us because the boundaries we have accepted muffle its message.
Jobs will be remembered for many things, but he should also be remembered as an example of hope and persistence. It may take you a lifetime to find what you love, but without hope and persistence the one thing you can be sure of is that you will never find it.