Steve Jobs on Purpose and Values

Steve Jobs was an imperfect human being like the rest of us. But in his short life he managed to accomplish more of the things that mattered to him than most of us do.

In his famous 2005 Stanford commencement address Steve talked about how he managed to do this.

He said:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do

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.”

Can we all be Steve Jobs? No.
Should we try to? No.
Can we learn from his example? Yes.

The way that Inner Leadership does this comes in five parts:

  • It provides tools and techniques for spotting when you are being “trapped by dogma” (or as we prefer to call it, making mistaken assumptions)
  • It provides ways for you to get more in touch with what your inner voice, love, heart, and intuition are trying to tell you — so that you live your life, not someone else’s
  • It shows you how to crystallise your ‘love, heart, and intuition’ into your ‘purpose’ and ‘values’, so that they become clearer, more tangible, and easier to convert into action
  • It helps you find more options for how you might put that purpose and values into action, starting from where you are now
  • It helps you to inspire yourself and other people to make your chosen way forward happen

Applying this philosophy enabled Steve Jobs to accomplish so much of what mattered to him that when he died even foreign newspapers called him “The face of an era” — “Gesicht einer Ära.”

Who knows what will happen if you achieve more of whatever matters to you.

Are you clear what your inner voice is saying? Are you following your heart, love, and intuition? Would you like to?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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And remember: you can’t learn to swim only by reading about swimming, you also have to practice.

Photo By Wolf Gang via

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