10 Golden Lessons From Steve Jobs

“I think we’re having fun. I think our customers really like our products. And we’re always trying to do better.”

– Steve Jobs

Steve JobsHis accomplishments and character helped define a generation and change the world. He is co-founder of the fairytale company we now know as Apple Computers. And he is the visionary of the personal computers world that led the entire computer hardware and software industry to restructure itself.

This man with boundless energy and charisma is also a master of hype, hyperbole and the catchy phrase. And even when he’s trying to talk normally, brilliant verbiage comes tumbling out.

Here’s a selection of some of the most insanely great things he said, golden lessons to help you succeed in life, Jobs-style:

1. Steve Jobs said: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

Innovation has no limits. The only limit is your imagination. It’s time for you to begin thinking out of the box. If you are involved in a growing industry, think of ways to become more efficient; more customer friendly; and easier to do business with. If you are involved in a shrinking industry – get out of it quick and change before you become obsolete; out of work; or out of business. And remember that procrastination is not an option here. Start innovating now!

2. Steve Jobs said: “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

There is no shortcut to excellence. You will have to make the commitment to make excellence your priority. Use your talents, abilities, and skills in the best way possible and get ahead of others by giving that little extra. Live by a higher standard and pay attention to the details that really do make the difference. Excellence is not difficult – simply decide right now to give it your best shot – and you will be amazed with what life gives you back.

3. Steve Jobs said: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

I’ve got it down to four words: “Do what you love.” Seek out an occupation that gives you a sense of meaning, direction and satisfaction in life. Having a sense of purpose and striving towards goals gives life meaning, direction and satisfaction. It not only contributes to health and longevity, but also makes you feel better in difficult times. Do you jump out of bed on Monday mornings and look forward to the work week? If the answer is ‘no’ keep looking, you’ll know when you find it.

4. Steve Jobs said: “You know, we don’t grow most of the food we eat. We wear clothes other people make. We speak a language that other people developed. We use a mathematics that other people evolved… I mean, we’re constantly taking things. It’s a wonderful, ecstatic feeling to create something that puts it back in the pool of human experience and knowledge.”

Live in a way that is ethically responsible. Try to make a difference in this world and contribute to the higher good. You’ll find it gives more meaning to your life and it’s a great antidote to boredom. There is always so much to be done. And talk to others about what you are doing. Don’t preach or be self-righteous, or fanatical about it, that just puts people off, but at the same time, don’t be shy about setting an example, and use opportunities that arise to let others know what you are doing.

5. Steve Jobs said: “There’s a phrase in Buddhism, ‘Beginner’s mind.’ It’s wonderful to have a beginner’s mind.”

It is the kind of mind that can see things as they are, which step by step and in a flash can realize the original nature of everything. Beginner’s mind is Zen practice in action. It is the mind that is innocent of preconceptions and expectations, judgements and prejudices. Think of beginner’s mind as the mind that faces life like a small child, full of curiosity and wonder and amazement.

6. Steve Jobs said: “We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on.”

Reams of academic studies over the decades have amply confirmed television’s pernicious mental and moral influences. And most TV watchers know that their habit is mind-numbing and wasteful, but still spend most of their time in front of that box. So turn your TV off and save some brain cells. But be cautious, you can turn your brain off by using a computer also. Try and have an intelligent conversation with someone who plays first person shooters for 8 hours a day. Or auto race games, or role-playing games.

7. Steve Jobs said: “I’m the only person I know that’s lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year…. It’s very character-building.”

Don’t equate making mistakes with being a mistake. There is no such thing as a successful person who has not failed or made mistakes, there are successful people who made mistakes and changed their lives or performance in response to them, and so got it right the next time. They viewed mistakes as warnings rather than signs of hopeless inadequacy. Never making a mistake means never living life to the full.

8. Steve Jobs said: “I would trade all of my technology for an afternoon with Socrates.”

Over the last decade, numerous books featuring lessons from historical figures have appeared on the shelves of bookstores around the world. And Socrates stands with Leonardo da Vinci, Nicholas Copernicus, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein as a beacon of inspiration for independent thinkers. But he came first. Cicero said of Socrates that, “He called philosophy down from the skies and into the lives of men.” So use Socrates’ principles in your life, your work, your learning, and your relationships. It’s not about Socrates, it’s really about you, and how you can bring more truth, beauty and goodness into your life everyday.

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

Did you know that you have big things to accomplish in life? And did you know that those big things are getting rather dusty while you pour yourself another cup of coffee, and decide to mull things over rather than do them? We were all born with a gift to give in life, one which informs all of our desires, interests, passions and curiosities. This gift is, in fact, our purpose. And you don’t need permission to decide your own purpose. No boss, teacher, parent, priest or other authority can decide this for you. Just find that unique purpose.

10. Steve Jobs said: “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 other’s 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.”

Are you tired of living someone else’s dream? No doubt, its your life and you have every right to spend it in your own individual way without any hurdles or barriers from others. Give yourself a chance to nurture your creative qualities in a fear-free and pressure-free climate. Live a life that YOU choose and be your own boss.

Each lesson might be difficult to integrate into your life at first, but if you ease your way into each lesson, one at a time, you’ll notice an immediate improvement in your overall performance. So go ahead, give them a try.

Becoming an exceptional leader like Steve Jobs can be very difficult. With a masters degree in organizational leadership, you can begin to cultivate the skills needed to become a promising leader for future generations.

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  • Ashwin says:

    Excellent post.

    I really liked the 1,2,3, 7 and 10th Lesson. Inspiring stuff.

  • Majic says:

    Inspiring stuff indeed. Steve jobs is a true entrepreneur.
    It’s interesting to note that he’s yet another example of someone who dropped out of college, and succeeded.

  • Chris says:

    simply awesome, after a drought on this site there have been some real gems as of late….Keep it up!!!

  • Brad Spry says:

    I’m pretty sure he also said “You can’t solve behavioral problems with technology”. That’s one I whip out almost weekly!

  • AL says:

    This guy is my hero!

  • Hall says:

    I couldn’t agree more, these are 10 of the best quotes! Steve Jobs quotes are very inspiring, they change people.

    More Steve Jobs quote at http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs for those who fancy.

  • viji says:

    Great post Ririan, As you said difficult to integrate, but need to go deep into each ane every quote. Tks for the post. Viji

  • Ana says:

    Thanks, nice post. Reminds me of the quote: “If you love what you do, you will never work another day in your life.” -Confucious

  • Ryan says:

    Great article. I will be stopping back to read more.

  • KIK says:

    excellent post indeed. sounds like “the ten commandments”

  • Marcel says:

    A lot of good points. The follow your heart part never makes sense. The human heart is full of evil, crap and laziness. Learn to love what is good, and do it.

  • Andre says:

    “It’s better to be a pirate than to join the navy.”

  • I don’t know about you other readers, but I can only see what a HUGE ego Jobs has! Jeeeeez!!
    I mean, honestly these hollywood/america-land-of-opportunities quotes make laugh.

  • gabriel says:

    thanks for the article. please, could you tell us what is the source of this article? some book ?

  • Zeke says:

    “I’ve got it down to four words: ‘Do what you love.'”

    Joseph Campbell said it in 3 words:

    “Follow your bliss.”

  • young one says:

    There all excellent, but my thoughts turn to number 2 and the attending consequences of surrounding your self with like minded people who want to exceed. Unfortunately some people out there are content to be average.

  • Phillip says:

    Very inspiring words from a bloke who you can’t help having a love/hate relationship with. Love the products, innovation and inspiration, but wish I could have a fraction of the success and money!!

  • Jonas says:

    I tend to agree with antonie. The quotes are fine, but your follow-ups are mostly unenlightening and repeating. My first impression was “this is bullshit”. Now this might also be because I tend to think wisdom in this kind of grandeur tend to be a little over the top.

    “Try to make a difference in this world and contribute to the higher good”. I mean, come on. Thanks for the adviće…

    Have you ever actually read Plato by the way?

    The quotes from Steve Jobs are not bad, as in bad written, but I get the feeling that it’s easy for somebody in his position to say: “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?”, and just a little bu harder to get anything out of that tip.

  • H.G.Wels says:

    He is a Antichrist

  • WTL says:

    Nicely done. I think he would be fun to sit down and share a pint with.

  • Andre says:

    Some of them from the amazing Steve’s Stanford Speech


  • jane doe says:

    What? No tip about back-dating stock options and how to get away with it?

  • drag0? says:

    “Try and have an intelligent conversation with someone who plays first person shooters for 8 hours a day.”
    Is this sarcastic?

  • Steve says:

    “we’re here to put a dent in the universe. ohterwise, why even be here?”

    not the smartest answer ive heard of the meaning of life but still, i see where he’s coming from.

    H.G.wels ( the one who left a comment on here) must really be scientologist(sorry for the spelling)

  • Cesar Romance says:

    Steve Jobs is my heroe!! he is such amazing!! =D
    I’m following he’s steps! and I’m very proud for it =)

  • wuqiguai says:

    so you must make a difference from Steve Jobs.

  • Lisa says:

    Steve jobs also once said “why be in the navy when you can be a pirate?” haha brilliant :):)

  • uc says:

    there is no reason not to follow your heart

  • jobs, amazing, and thats why i chose the Macbook pro over the Windows 7 haha ;P

  • Andy Fleming says:

    “the fairytale company we now know as Apple Computers” – think they dropped the “Computer” a couple of years back – they’re just Apple Inc. now…

  • emmanuel says:

    this is inspiring, motivating and soul lifting! this will surely empower people, esp youths!

  • Ranga Nathan says:

    When the great archer Arjun aimed is arrow at a distant bird, his teacher asked him “What do you see?”. “I see two eyes” was Arjun’s reply. To me that is the laser focus and intense passion that Steven Jobs was. He went straight for the jugular – aiming to make a “dent in the universe”, the same flame and passion that stirred Jesus or Martin Luther King or Mahathma Gandhi. Farewell Steve. You have found good company in heaven!

  • Buy Flagyl says:

    Hmmm.. I do agree with you in many parts but will have to think about it deeply. But have to say that it is quite well put though and did make me reassess many of my ideas about certain things. Many thanks for giving this different perspective.

  • Admin says:

    Great thoughts by a person who was a real gem. I would like to repost this article in my blog, with a link to your website.
    Please confirm if i can go ahead.

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