It was almost like Steve Jobs even had the forethought to write and present his own epitaph, obituary or funeral speech when he addressed the 2005 graduating class at Stanford. Other than reflecting on time, choices and just being, at the end, he implored his listeners to “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.” With the introspection and sadness that someone who has changed so many people’s lives should die so relatively young, we can only hope that we can take Jobs’ directive to heart.
You can read the entire transcript, but here is an excerpt that rings especially 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.
A truly visionary man who ended up having more money than we might know what to do with was not able to overcome the cancer that ultimately led to his death, and he could see that it was OK. The piece from his address above could easily be considered a mantra if not just a great bit of “How-To” insight.
Already, there has been an outpouring of love and respect – with tributes popping up at Apple stores around the world. The juxtaposition between the commercial aspect of the stores and the fact that this visionary was the driving force behind that really speaks to the impact he had whether people met him or not.
Jobs didn’t have as much time to string more dots to connect (a notion of part of his address) as he probably should have, but he was able to connect more dots in a shortened life than many ever hope to do in their own lives. He has joined the list of innovators and visionaries who leave us to wonder “what could have been” if they were allowed to live longer. Maybe what happens is meant to be – some speak of a larger narrative where things, including death, are pre-determined. Hopefully, we can work through that and set our course to make a change for the better – where we Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish.