Steve Jobs died today.
I’m not usually a fan of corporate behemoths, but there was always something special about the way Apple—no, make that Steve Jobs—went about changing the world. You don’t need much more proof of the impact he had on the tech industry, or last generation or two, or the world today than the overwhelming outpouring of emotion after his death. If you were online, you knew. He was the entrepreneur of our generation, and one of the all-time great innovators and visionaries. The 60s/70s had NASA, and the 80s/90s/00s had Steve Jobs.
No matter whether you’re a fanboy or a hater, it’s hard not to argue that Steve’s passing leaves a huge hole in our culture’s soul. Steve and Apple certainly left an indelible mark on my life. He will be missed.
Perhaps one of his more poignant moments came during his Stanford commencement address. I’ve watched this video at least a dozen times over the years. The advice he gives is even more moving today than when I heard it last.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Watch the entire speech (or read the transcript). Either way, I promise that it will be well worth your time.
So let’s go make sure we all have our “one more thing,” moment.