Steve Jobs 1955-2011

In this world of corporations, committees, consultation and collaboration–Steve Jobs personified the power of the individual.

This week I want to remember and use the words of Steve Jobs to motivate people in all of my workshops, lectures and classes.

Steve Jobs interview, in 1993 in the Wall Street Journal: “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me…Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful…that’s what matters to me.

The above quote motivated and empowered me on a Monday morning.

So I started this work week trying to use the words of Steve Jobs to clarify, focus and motivate my students to do their best. Focus of what is most important, set an example and simplify their life and do their best, one minute at a time.

To start my lectures and workshops this week, I presented the Motivational words of Steve Jobs to focus on our objectives. .

Whether at the Career Explorations Workshop, the motivational speeches to seniors in their later stage of life, or the community leaders attending my psychology classes, I remind them all of Steve Jobs 2005 commencement  speech at Stanford University.

It’s a simple, humble, narrative-driven speech, touching on his adoption, his decision to drop out of Reed College, getting fired from and then returning to Apple, and being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004.

But what I find most impactful, reading and watching the speech is the part that touches on death. “No one wants to die,” Jobs acknowledges. “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.”

He closed with a quote from Stewart Brand, founder of one of Steve Jobs’s favorite publications growing up, The Whole Earth Catalog: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

“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,” Jobs said. “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.”

The above quotes were used my event to motivate the senior population at a lunch and learn series, devoted to making everyday count. It does not matter what stage of life you are, you can to make a difference every day, by simply doing an act of kindness.

All the topics in my psychology classes (this week it was the Language of Clothes) were skewed to motivate and emphasized that any individual can motivate others to make a difference.

Thanks for all of your feedback this week you have acknowledge that the words, used this week, do make a difference.