Steve Jobs was one of the last great innovative creators of our time (full disclosure: I am an Apple junkie!). His 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University is full of all sorts of quotable quotes, all of which are designed to motivate a new class ready to take on the world. But this one is my favorite of them all:
Does it get any more real than that? We’ve all heard “Life is short” and while that is true, it doesn’t really dig into the essence of what that means. It isn’t enough to know that life is short. It’s what you do between the dates that counts. Even more to the point, that what you do is what you love, not what some abstract “they” (whoever they are) thinks you should do.
Think about it like this: if you were to write your own eulogy today, what would you have to say? Would it make you happy? Would you have accomplished all that you set out to do before your final date on Earth arrives? Everyone’s definition of success is different. But it doesn’t matter what it looks like, all that matters is that it’s your definition.
Steve Jobs knew all too well that his time was limited. And because of this knowledge, he lived his life and not someone else’s. I think it’s safe to say, we have all been touched in some way by his unwillingness to live someone else’s life.
Are you living your best life? Are you living your life? If not, what are you waiting for?
Write freely, love fearlessly, live intentionally.
I love Gary Sinise. His quote is perfect. It takes hard work and persistence (among other things) to be successful in life, regardless of what your version may be. The timing of how it pays off is not in our control. But keeping our nose to the grindstone and working on that goal is completely up to us.
So own it. Do the time. Work hard. The timing of your success will follow.
It’s called growth. No matter what you’re goals are in life, strive to grow. Presently, I’m a newbie to the writing world. But I don’t plan to stay that way, no matter how hard it is to get where I want to be. Where I am now is simply where I started. I relish where I am now though because it will make a great story when achieve my success! 🙂
Everyone wants success, am I right? It can mean different things to different people, but at the end of the day, we all want to be successful.
That’s the easy part. Knowing we want it. Knowing the goal. But how we achieve that goal is where the rubber meets the road. Few have all the pieces needed to get there. Worse yet, some are not even sure what those pieces are. There’s no manual for it, no hack or secret handshake.
I will had one more item to Mr. Powell’s list: willingness. You have to be willing to not only learn from failure, but to be flexible, learn new things, and take chances. Without that, all the preparation, hard work, and failures can feel like your just spinning your wheels.
Whatever it is you want in life and whatever your definition of success might mean, give it everything you have.
“Terrible thing, to live in fear.”- Shawshank Redemption
Fear is one of the greatest motivators around. It can be productive or it can stop you in your tracks. It’s all in how you look at it. I know that over my lifetime I have passed on taking chances simply because I worried that I would look silly, say something wrong, make people angry or sad, fail at the task at hand. Who knows how many opportunities I passed up? I don’t dwell on it these days because I’ve learned to let go. Have faith.
These days I’m more likely to live and let live and be silly, be wrong, fail, and realize people will react the way they will regardless of what I do. I’m still a WIP on this, but compared to ten years ago, I’ve made tremendous strides. And if I slip into that mind set and worry about making a mistake, I just try to remember: what’s the worse that can happen? If the ones I hold dear to my heart are safe, healthy, and whole, then I’m good. And when I do screw up, I try again and learn from it. That’s really all we can do.
So, how does fear motivate you? Is it paralyzing to the point of missed opportunities? Or does it grab you by the neck and push you into taking that shot because you have nothing to lose?
When I woke up this morning, I was aggravated with myself. Again. Never a fun way to start one’s day. But I’ve been doing it to myself for the last couple of weeks.
Why was I so aggravated? I have a time that I want to wake up each morning to do some writing before the rest of the day invades my time. But my family’s schedule has changed this summer, so my day ends later than it normally does and I can’t change that. So I end up in bed later and sleeping later. Not the way I normally like it.
But then I came across this quote and it made me pause. What was wrong with me? Why am I so hard on myself? I’m still productive, just not when I think I “should” be. And isn’t the point to be productive? This new schedule isn’t permanent anyway, just for a little while.
I think sometimes we can be our own worse enemies and it can stifle the very thing we are looking to achieve. I need to remind myself to be thankful I’m able to take any time to be productive on something I love. Because I find when I’m not thankful, I end up stressed and being counterproductive.
You are enough! Be thankful, be happy, be blessed.
Some people call them dreams. I call them goals. I have many and they are lofty. They are things that in order to achieve them it will take sacrifice, hard work, determination, and a healthy dose of crazy. I know there are some that think I’m weird or a big dreamer. But I can SEE my goals in my head, I can visualize the hard work it will take to get there. I can also see the results.
I thrive on being weird and crazy. If I’m not being called either one of those, I know I need to double my efforts to stand out.
Think about it this way: There are over 7 billion people in this world. Why would I want to get lost in that herd of people?
Simple yet effective quote from one of baseball’s historic giants. Babe Ruth was known for his hitting on the field and womanizing and drinking off the field, which it’s said to have caused some issues for him with the public and baseball officials.
In spite of those that wanted to hold him back due to his larger than life persona, he never gave up giving his best to baseball.
There will always be those that want to see you fail and perhaps there will be times that they succeed in their venture. However, success is fleeting and requires hard work and persistence to keep it. You won’t stay on top by giving up or rest on your laurels. It’s often said it’s harder to maintain than to get there.
Never give up and you’ll never be beaten. And you’ll never let yourself down.