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Tributes to Steve Jobs are being offered from world leaders and celebrities, competitors and colleagues. His words had inspired one of my blog posts about a month ago when he resigned as chairman and CEO of Apple. Now, upon his death, I’ve discovered an even more powerful message from Mr. Jobs.
Last night Rachel Maddow shared a clip from a commencement speech that Steve Jobs delivered at Stanford University in 2005. This morning Steve Chiotakis with Marketplace Morning Report shared another clip. Here’s are a few excerpts I found most profound:
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.
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Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
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.
When you have the time, you may wish to view his speech in its entirety:
Thank you, Steve Jobs.
If you’ve followed this blog for any time at all you already know that I’m a bit of a Starbucks geek. Their approach to branding, internal marketing, etc. has been the topic of countless books, blogs and videos…besides, I love their coffee and the customer experience of Starbucks.
Yesterday Starbucks announced a program to pool donations from customers, employees, or any concerned American, and given to the Opportunity Finance Network – a network of 180 community development financial institutions which lend to many organizations, including small businesses. The idea is that if small businesses have capital, they will hire.
Starbucks is seeding the fund with a $5 million donation. “We’ve got to thaw the channels of credit so that community businesses can start hiring again” said Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz.
It is exciting to see a corporation step up in this way…but here’s what I really love: Donors who give $5 or more will get a red, white and blue wristband with the word “indivisible” on it “as a symbol of our country’s unity,” said Schultz.
INDIVISIBLE… you know, from the Pledge of Allegiance: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all.” At a time when politicians seem content to leverage wedge issues and promote divisiveness for their own political gain; this initiative promotes unity and invites us to remember the common good.
Say what you will about Starbucks, but Schultz has also led more than 100 CEOs to sign a pledge to halt all political campaign contributions until lawmakers “stop the partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C.” He told Reuters that “I have no interest in politics or political office. I’m just doing this as a private citizen trying to make a difference.”
Now that’s what I call a winning strategy. Give me another Venti non-fat mocha, with whip!