Steve Jobs on Purpose and Values

Newspaper report of Steve Jobs's death in the Suddeutsche Zeitung

Steve Jobs was an imperfect human being like the rest of us. But in his short life he managed to accomplish more of the goals he set himself than most of us do.

In his famous 2005 Stanford commencement address, Steve described the philosophy that enabled him to achieve this. He talked about ‘love’, ‘inner voice’, ‘heart’, and ‘intuition’.

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 be? No. Can we learn from his example? Yes.

Inner Leadership provides a set of tools that enable us to uncover what our “love, inner voice, heart, and intuition” are trying to tell us. It makes them actionable by translating them into purpose and values.

Steve Jobs, pursued this philosophy to such an extent that when he died even foreign newspapers called him, “The face of an era” — “Gesicht einer Ära.”

If you follow it you will achieve more of what matters most to you.

Are you clear on what you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Do you love what you do? Are you following your heart? Do you know your purpose and values?

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

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Photo By Wolf Gang via

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