Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Steve Jobs - Meaning of Life

Steve Jobs biography I am reading now

The BIG QUESTION of life is "What is the meaning of life?"  I think I have the answer.  Actually, Steve Jobs had the answer.

This is a quote from his commencement speech at Stanford University in June of 2005 after he was informed that he had a fatal cancer and would most likely die soon.

Steve usually got someone to write his speeches, in this case he tried to get the brilliant scriptwriter Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, The West Wing) but Adam wasn't available so Steve wrote this speech himself.

It is perhaps the most perfect commencement address because of its artful minimalism, simplicity, purity and charm.  I quote this speech from his biography (by Walter Isaacson) that I am now currently reading.

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encounter 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."

Something to think about.  Follow your heart, do what you believe in and do not concern yourself with what others think of you.  Be true to yourself.  

This is interesting because I over the weekend I watched "The Help" three times.  Those women also followed their hearts and did what they believe in.  We may not live forever but at least while we are here we might as well make our mark and leave the world a better place than it was when we arrived.

I for one will be forever grateful to Steve Jobs because in spite of all his all too human frailties, shortcomings and flaws he left this world a much better place for millions of people, including me.

Thank you Steve. 

See a resemblance?  I do


  1. I never really noticed, but Steve Jobs had some very grimacing eyebrows!

    There are definitely some similarities there (eyebrows excluded).

    You also have less grey hair!

  2. Remembering we will die is a cornerstone of most religions; ironically not to 'count the days' but to help you focus on the now and present - to live each day in the present, and to its fullest.

    Have I shoved onto you my favorite poem?

  3. Hula Hank,

    I have more gray hair now and more grimacing eyebrows (which I now have to trim daily). This picture was taken in 1999.

  4. Dr. Spo,

    You have indeed shoved me into your favorite poem. And I do like it.


Comments are always welcome except from SPAM bloggers. I answer all comments. Have a great day!