Steve Jobs on achieving your 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 during his short life Steve managed to achieve more of the things that mattered most to him than most of us do.

How did he achieve this?

In his famous 2005 Stanford commencement address, Steve told us the answer. 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 achieve 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 connect more strongly with what our “inner voice, love, heart, and intuition” are trying to tell us — so that we live our life our way, not somebody else’s
  • It shows us how to crystallise this “love, heart, and intuition” into statements of our purpose and values — which makes them more concrete and actionable
  • It helps us find more ways we might put this crystallised “love, heart, and intuition” into action and then helps us choose which option is the best way forward, and
  • It shows us how to inspire ourselves and other people to long to make our chosen way forward happen

The aim of Inner Leadership is not to turn you into Steve Jobs or help you to achieve what Steve Jobs did.

The aim of Inner Leadership is to help you become clearer about what your heart and intuition are calling you to do, and to show you how to create the inspiration that will make you, and the people around you, long to make those things happen.

During his short life, Steve Jobs managed to accomplish so much of what mattered most to him that when he died even foreign newspapers called him, “Gesicht einer Ära” — “The face of an era.”

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

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.)

Photo By Wolf Gang via

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