Steve Jobs on Purpose and Values

Steve Jobs was an imperfect human being, just like the rest of us. And, just like the rest of us, he was never going to live forever. But in his short life he managed to achieve more of the things that mattered to him than most of us do.

In his famous 2005 Stanford commencement address, Steve told us how he did 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 be? No.
Can we learn from his example? Yes.

Inner Leadership helps us to do this in several ways:

  • It provides tools and techniques for spotting and correcting when we are being “trapped by dogma” (such as ‘shoulds‘ and other mistaken assumptions)
  • It provides ways for us to get more in touch with what our “inner voice, love, heart, and intuition” are trying to tell us — so that we can increasingly live our lives our way, not someone else’s
  • It shows us how to crystallise our “love, heart, and intuition” into ‘purpose’ and ‘values’ — which makes them clearer, more tangible, and easier to convert into action
  • It helps us to find more ways to put that “love, heart, and intuition” into action, starting from where we are now, and to choose the way forward that is best for us now, and
  • It shows us how to inspire ourselves and other people so that we wake up each morning, longing to make our chosen way forward happen

The aim of Inner Leadership is not to help you become Steve Jobs or achieve what Steve Jobs achieved.

The aim of Inner Leadership is to help you use change to become stronger so that you become clearer about what it is that matters most to you and you become more able to achieve that.

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

What would you like those newspapers, and your family and friends, to say about you? Are you listening to your own inner voice? Are you following your heart, love, and intuition?

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

You can sign up to daily posts here.

You can buy the book here and the workbook here.

(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also need to practice.)

Photo By Wolf Gang via

Leave a Reply