Inspiring Narrative

“HOW TO LIVE BEFORE YOU DIE”- Three stories from Steve Jobs’ life

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After he was diagnosed with cancer, Apple CEO addressed the graduating students at Stanford University. 13 years later, Steve Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford continues to inspire us. Today on his birthday, let us take a look at what we can learn from the three life lessons shared by him.

On connecting the dots

Steve Jobs dropped out of college and learnt calligraphy.  When he dropped out from REEDS he really didn’t know what to do.  However he believes that his decision to drop out and later use his calligraphy skills helped him design Apple Macintosh, the computer that revolutionised the entire computer industry. The typography in the Macintosh differentiates between Apple computers and the rest.

Steve Jobs truly believes that you can never connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. He believed that his gut feeling never let him down and brought about all the changes in his life.

Love and Loss

Steve Jobs emphasizes on one of the most important lessons we should learn in our life and that is to find out what our passion is.  He says he is lucky to have found his at the age of 20.  He started Apple in a garage with Steve Woznaik at 20 which later turned into a billion dollar company.


Even though he was fired from his own company at the age of 30 by the board of directors, his passion made him excel and he launched a company – NEXT and PIXAR. Pixar is today the most successful animation studio in the world.  Today NEXT is the cause of Apple’s rebirth.  Would all this have beeen possible had he not been fired? He also says how life will be a place for setbacks but during all those instances one must continue to follow one’s heart and that will churn out a wonderful future.  Since all through your life you will shell out majority of your time at work, it is equally important to first find out what you love.


Steve Jobs remembered a quote he had come across. It said “If you live each day as if it was your last, some day you’ll most certainly be right.”

He says in his 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.”

Death is inevitable. One day it will come to everyone. When Steve Jobs was diagnosed with a tumour in his pancreas, the doctor’s believed it was not curable and advised him to be prepared for death. But later on when he got some other diagnosis, the doctor’s found out that it was a minor cancer which was completely curable with a surgery. After the surgery, he was hail and hearty. The lesson he wants to convey is that your time on this planet is limited, so stop wasting it living someone else’s life. Stop believing in other’s opinions because it destroys your mental confidence completely. The most important things in life are to follow your heart and intuition. Once you find it out, everything else becomes secondary .

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Sharika Nair

Uncrowned Queen of certified PJs. Positive thinker. Writer . Author. Marathon Runner. Brand Marketing expert.

About the Author

Sharika Nair

Uncrowned Queen of certified PJs. Positive thinker. Writer . Author. Marathon Runner. Brand Marketing expert.

Read more from Sharika