Inspiring Quotes and Words of Wisdom from Steve Jobs

by Parin

“Today I want to tell you three stories from my life.
That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories”
- Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs on the cover of Time Magazine

Steve Jobs on the cover of Time Magazine - Photo Credits: TIME Magazine

Steve Jobs is one of the most brilliant business and technology minds we have seen. And although he recently resigned as Apple’s CEO, his words of wisdom and shared life lessons will continue to inspire generations to come.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the leading innovator: (I’ve included the source where I know it):

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

2005 Stanford Commencement Speech

“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.”

BusinessWeek: Back To The Future At Apple (May 25, 1998)

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”

Fortune: The Second Coming of Apple Through a magical fusion of man–Steve Jobs–and company, Apple is becoming itself again: the little anticompany that could. (Nov. 9, 1998)

“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

2005 Stanford Commencement Speech

“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.”

“[Innovation] comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”

The Seed of Apple’s Innovation (October 12, 2004)

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done.”

Steve Jobs: Get Rid of the Crappy Stuff (May 16, 2011)

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

“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.”

2005 Stanford Commencement Speech

“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.”

2005 Stanford Commencement Speech

What are some of your favorite quotes from inspiring leaders?

Do you have a favorite quote from Steve Jobs or any other person you’re inspired by?
Do you have a favorite from the list above?

Share your thoughts and comments in the comments section below.

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