How did he accomplish this?
In his famous 2005 Stanford commencement address, Steve talked about how the biggest challenge of his life also turned out to be his biggest opportunity.
When he was 30 years old, the company he had co-founded and worked in all his adult life suddenly fired him.
It was, he said,
and for a few months he felt
“a very public failure.”
But then he reflected…
Getting fired from Apple didn’t only turn out to be a good thing, he said:
“Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me… It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life… It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it.”
“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love… If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
Facing our biggest challenge forces us to make choices. Then we discover:
- What are we willing to let go of, because it matters less to us?
- What will we refuse to let go of, because it matters most to us?
- What do we love?
It’s a cauldron of fire — but it tempers the steel. And it brings us clarity, focus, and inspiration.
Once Steve Jobs knew what he loved he gained the inspiration and motivation to turn a tiny, struggling computer company into the most valuable corporation on the planet. Because that was what he longed most to do.
And because that was what he loved doing, it wasn’t a struggle for him, it wasn’t ‘work’. It was just him, being who he truly was, doing what he cared about most, doing what he was here to do.
When we find what we love we take another step forward towards becoming antifragile.
Have you found what you love? Are you looking for it?
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 just by reading about swimming, you also need to do the practice.)