I was recently reminded of the video of a commencement speech that Steve Jobs gave at Stanford University in 2005. If you haven’t seen it go watch the video and read the transcript. It is full of wisdom and insight as to finding your passion and living life to it’s fullest. I particularly find it interesting in the context of his death and all of the things that he accomplished after he gave this speech.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
This is my favorite quote in the entire speech. It carries so much guidance and wisdom in just a few words. We get caught up in life with distractions that constantly pull us from the things that we value the most. We buy into societies pressures to purchase the big house, the nice cars. Frequently going into debt to do so. It’s okay, though, we are supporting the economy. Meanwhile our dream of traveling the world is put on hold because we are tied down to a mortgage and a lifestyle that we don’t really want. We stay in a stressful job because you need the income so your kids can have nice stuff and go to a good school so they can then have a good job and buy the nice house. It is a self sustaining cycle that is very difficult to get out of.
So how do you break this cycle? I don’t know. It depends on your situation and how far you are wiling to go to change your situation. Are you willing to sell the house and move to a cheaper neighborhood? Are you willing to change your career to be happier? Are you even willing to acknowledge that what you are currently doing isn’t what you are passionate about?
“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.
I have been thinking a lot lately about next steps. Both in terms of next steps in what Carrie and I want to accomplish with our personal goals and what I want to accomplish next in my career. I have written before about my evaluation of how last year went and my desire to improve my situation. How does one know when it’s time to make a change? What kind of change should you make? I don’t know. I just know that it’s more important to find your passion and to pursue it. Life’s too short to just punch a clock.