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Steve JobsWhy does it take death for us to really recognize what is a person’s worth?

As I reflect back on the death of Steve Jobs, I think that I have less than 20 years until I’m 56 – which is how old he was when he passed away. This pushes me to question: What am I going to do that is great in my space today?

Not that Jobs is the only example of doing great things with work… Look at Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart, and so forth. There are many examples of people who did great things through their work. The key is that they lived their passion.

Here are some lessons I take away from the example of Steve Jobs’ career:

  • Don’t listen to the nay-sayers

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.” – Wall Street Journal 1993, shared by UK Guardian.

  • Listen to your gut

“I want to put a ding in the universe.” –

  • Push other people around you to be great too

“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” –

  • Be yourself

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Business Week , 1998.

  • Share your story and excitement with everyone.

“My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each others kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.” – Interview with 60 Minutes , 2003.

There are many more examples, but the key to his example – IMHO – is that Jobs was relentless in his passion. He was clear in his vision that computing in the hands of every day people would make a significant difference in how they lived. My life was affected two decades ago when the Apple IIgs entered our home. I’m sure you can pin point the first time you experienced working with an Apple related product.

Apple’s desire for people to see that there are different ways to do computing, is similar to my goal. I want people to break out of the stupor of their boring careers and do something remarkable. I want ordinary people to wake up and see that they can do extraordinary things in their lives.

Thanks for all you’ve done and RIP, Steve Jobs.

What is your favorite career lesson learned from Steve Jobs?