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Top 10 Life Lessons by Steve Jobs


As the year draws to a close, we reminisce about business leaders who left their mark. I think it's safe to say that Steve Jobs most certainly left a pretty impressive mark. He always said he wanted to "put a ding in the universe" and he did just that. 

Jobs was an ambitious man motivated by a desire for excellence and perfection. He was a creative innovator who refused to settle for mediocrity at all costs.

Failure didn't frighten him; it merely pushed him harder. Jobs took risks that only a true entrepreneur can fully appreciate.

His hippie spirit, introspective intellectualism, and optimistic outlook on life took him wherever he wanted to go in life. Nothing could hold him back. Nothing could hold his company from success.

Yes, Mr. Jobs was deserving of a life of wealth and luxury because that's what he fought for. He made a decision to put 110% in all of his efforts. Whether it be functionality, design or aesthetics, nothing was overlooked. 

For those of you on a journey for wealth and success in your lifetime, here are Steve's messages to you:

Know Yourself, Be Yourself

You're the only you. Know your strengths and weaknesses and feed off of it. You can't achieve your dreams if you're not true to the fiber of your being. Jobs discovered exactly who he was early in life, and he chose not to ignore the intelligence he was blessed with.

Then a more disconcerting discovery began to dawn on him: He was smarter than his parents.”

Don't Wait

When Jobs was only 12 years old, he took the initiative to look up Bill Hewlett (founder of HP) in the phone book so he could ask him for the parts he needed to build his own frequency counter. That intrepid attitude remained with him and served him well until his dying day.

No one's going to make all the moves for you. Be bold. Keep courage and go forth with whatever it is you intend to do.

"Stay hungry, stay foolish." - Steve Jobs


"A lot of people in our industry haven't had very diverse experiences. So they don't have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one's understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have." - Steve Jobs

Own Your Mistakes

Perfection isn't achieved overnight. You're expected to make mistakes along the way. How you react to those mistakes will make all the difference. Make mistakes, recognize them, address them, learn from them, and move on. Simple enough.

I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, such as getting my girlfriend pregnant when I was twenty-three and the way I handled that,” Jobs said.”

Leave the Door for Excellence Open at All Times

Jobs sought spiritual enlightenment, body purification, and excellence in all things. He never shut out the possibility of anything in line with his goals for perfection. He was willing to look at all angles, patterns, and designs to find the perfect techniques to ensure perfect production. He didn't care how he achieved excellence, he just wanted to get there. This mentality spilled over into his spiritualism:

I think different religions are different doors to the same house. Sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don’t. It’s the great mystery.” — Steve Jobs

Maintain Control Whenever Possible

Being detail-oriented is a small trait that can take you to big places. Apple's products are proof of this philosophy. Jobs may have been a control freak, but he produced results by being that way. To him, each and every product was an extension of who he was. He had self-worth because he was unwilling to create anything lackluster.

“He wants to control his environment, and he sees the product as an extension of himself.”

Create Your Own Reality

Live a life you love. If you're not happy with where you are, what you're doing, or who you're with, change it. Nothing is set in stone. Don't let discontent settle in...take action and do something different. 

"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." - Steve Jobs

Be Persuasive

Jobs could convince his workers to perform tasks that seemed daunting to the point of impossibility. How? Through the sophisticated art of persuasion. Having a unique – borderline manipulative – technique when making a request of a person can have more than satisfactory results. Jobs knew this:

"If it could save a person’s life, would you find a way to shave ten seconds off the boot time?” he asked. Kenyon allowed that he probably could. Jobs went to a whiteboard and showed that if there were five million people using the Mac, and it took ten seconds extra to turn it on every day, that added up to three hundred million or so hours per year that people would save, which was the equivalent of at least one hundred lifetimes saved per year.”

Make Something Great, Then Make Something Better

Don't make something great and be satisfied. Make something great and then strive to make something better. Had Jobs not failed early in his career, perhaps he wouldn't have achieved undying success throughout the remainder of his career.

There’s a classic thing in business, which is the second-product syndrome,” Jobs later said. It comes from not understanding what made your first product so successful. “I lived through that at Apple. My feeling was, if we got through our second film, we’d make it.”

Make Wise Decisions

Leaders fail if they are unable to make tough decisions quickly, often at the expense of their popularity. If you focus too much on being liked and formulating a decision merely to salvage your own reputation, you'll probably be selling yourself and others short.

The most visible decision he made was to kill, once and for all, the Newton, the personal digital assistant with the almost-good handwriting-recognition system.”

Spread Wisdom

Jobs lived a life dedicated to the success of his products. When he became ill, he suddenly reached out to the community, offering up anecdotes and tips for living the good life. Thus, he left a legacy to remember.

I will continue to do that with people like Mark Zuckerberg too. That’s how I’m going to spend part of the time I have left. I can help the next generation remember the lineage of great companies here and how to continue the tradition. The Valley has been very supportive of me. I should do my best to repay.” — Steve Jobs

Jobs inspiration


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