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Steve Jobs’ Stanford Speech: 6 Major Lessons To Learn!

Last Updated : 22 Sep, 2023
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One of the greatest visionaries of all time, Steve Jobs with his imagination and legacy has shaped everyone’s life. 

He was the co-founder and CEO of Apple and was recognized as one of the pioneers of the personal computer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. He was an insanely talented person and took Apple to the next level. He always wanted to do great things for humanity and because of his hard work and dedication we saw a drastic change in the computer industry. Though the CEO of Apple was not an avid speaker, his one of the best speeches at Standford, came out to be a life-changing experience for everyone

He commenced the 114th graduating batch of Standford University in 2005 and gave inspiration to many critical minds. In his speech, he laid out the best philosophy lessons which could be followed by everyone.

So here are the major lessons to learn from Steve Jobs’ amazing Stanford Speech:

1. Time is Limited, Don’t Waste It

We all know that life is uncertain and our time is limited so let’s not just waste it. 

Steve Jobs in his speech motivated people to listen to their inner voices and urged them not to live life as per other people’s wishes. He did not want death to be a tragic experience for anyone and always motivated people to take chances as death will eventually overcome every dream of yours. He told us to grab every opportunity coming our way and make the most of it. Do not settle with one thing in your hand however most of us do not follow this mantra besides we are afraid of failure. Hence, through his speech at Stanford, Steve Jobs gave us the mantra to never give up and keep trying as death is an inevitable truth.

2. Follow Your Heart

Reading or listening to this “Follow Your Heart” might seem very easy but doing it practically is very tough. According to Steve Jobs, one can only become successful if they do the things they love. But people find it rarely hard to follow their passion and end up screwing up their life by just doing 9-5 jobs where there is money but no self-satisfaction. Though it is not necessary that doing things you love will make you successful at once, it requires patience. 

You may fail at many steps, thus do not get devastated by failure, and always try to learn from your mistakes. Even Steve Jobs was in the same situation at one point in his life when he was fired from Apple, which turned out to be a life-changing point for him and the rest is history. He even said once, “It turned out that 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.”  

“I was lucky – I found what I loved to do early in life.” – Steve Jobs

3. Live a Meaningful Life

Everyone has a different opinion about a meaningful life, but according to Steve Jobs creating something worthful for society and humanity is worth living a meaningful life. For him helping people by providing them with something which can change their life into good. He always said that life is a one-way road and we could die anytime, therefore if you want to change things start now. 

Situations do not improve on their own but taking small steps will definitely make you achieve it. Another thing that can lead you to live a meaningful life is to listen to your inner voice, “Don’t waste it living someone else’s life”, he said. “Don’t be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.” You should have the courage to listen to your intuition hence, someday you will definitely become the best version of yourself.

4. Life is Hard, Don’t Lose Faith

We all know that life is hard and in order to achieve something we require a lot of hard work, nothing can be attained without pain. Jobs also had to face hardships in his life but it does not mean that he lost all his hopes, he gained all his courage and started two new ventures, Pixar and NeXt. Also, the executives at Apple realized that Steve was an integral part of Apple and decided to call him back. So no matter what, whether you are going through hell, always keep that last ray of hope alive and see things will start to work out in your favor. 

Once Steve Jobs said, “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.” Hence, the worst circumstances can also lead to success and the biggest opportunities in life so never stop moving forward.

5. Live Every Day as If It’s Your Last

Death is the only truth, which cannot be changed so live every day of your life as if it is your last. Jobs asked himself the same question every morning “If today was the last day of my life, would I do what I’m about to do today?” 

Also, according to him, if the answer is the same every time, then there is something wrong. Living each day as you last does not mean taking risks, else, it means you do the things that you love. It is not about earning money and then spending it up on lavish things but it is not compromising on the thing that you want. Steve Jobs’ speech forces us to review our death, though it does not mean that you think how you will be dying, doing things that makes you alive again.

6. Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

His closing remark at Standford where he spoke in front of the graduates in 2005. 

He took out this phrase from “The Whole Earth Catalog”, which is considered as the Bible for this generation. “The words ran under the picture of a beckoning country road early in the morning”, he said. He advised them to follow this and by this phrase “Stay hungry, Stay foolish”, he meant that never miss a chance to learn, grab every opportunity that comes your way.

Thus, these were a few life-changing lessons that can be learned from Steve Jobs’ speech given at Standford. These things are not only true for students or business people but can be followed by everyone who wants to lead a successful life.


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