Do You Love What You Do?

Steve Jobs died today.  A brilliant man who died too young.  Unfortunately it’s an all too common story.  Many die with lots of regrets.  It doesn’t seem like Steve did and with that, there are lessons for all of us.

He didn’t start out being one of the richest men in the world who created things that have changed the way we live.  He was adopted and was a college drop-out; circumstances that some people use as excuses for a life not well lived.

He started Apple at the age of 20 in his parent’s garage.  Ten years later he had over 4,000 employees and a company worth $2 billion.  Then he got fired from the company he started.  It was a very devastating public failure for him.

Because he still loved what he did (that’s the key here folks), he started again with two new companies; NeXT Computers and Pixar Animation.  Then Apple bought NeXT and he was back at the company he started.  He says that would never have happened if he didn’t get fired.

Getting fired is the thing that puts most people in a panic.  And that is a normal initial reaction, but if you continue along that path, you set yourself up for failure.  If, however, you look at it as an opportunity to do something else, something even better, it will change your life.

Steve said “You’ve  got to find what you love.  Do what you believe is great work (which is whatever you love to do).  Keep looking and don’t settle.”

Many years ago he saw a quote that went something like this; “If you live each day as if it were your last, some day you will be right.”  That inspired him, and every day for the next 39 years he looked in the mirror and would say to himself “If today was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m 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.”

He went on to say “remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool to help me make the big decisions of life.”  I think he lived a very good life.  Let’s all take a lesson from Steve.