He wasn’t perfect. Nobody is. But he epitomized what we all hope to be in our better moments – somebody using their brief existence to reach their highest potential.
You can read the full transcript of his 2005 Stanford University commencement address from their web site. Here’s a quote that’s sure to be all over cable news this week.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
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.
Stay hungry. Stay foolish.
Steve Jobs, February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011