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Steve Jobs on death, life, passion and progress

I started writing this post about Steve Jobs, one of the greatest Mavericks the world has ever seen and the magnificent life he led.  But no matter how I said it, I realized my own words could not offer justice to a man that has literally changed the world. So, who better to leave us inspired about the delicacy and gift of life, than Steve Jobs himself:

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. 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.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own 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.” [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]

Mavericks are not only game changers, they inspire others to change the way they view their own life. Jobs inspired people through his words, visions, actions, and products… And the culmination created a ‘universal’ impact.

“We’re here to put a dent in the universe,” Jobs said. “Otherwise why else even be here?”

Think big. Act bold. Life is to short to do anything else.

Be a Maverick,

– Kent

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