steve jobsMany people in my world are aware that in addition to my years as an Apple employee (music & entertainment), I was also very fortunate to have been able to call Steve Jobs a personal mentor. The things we discussed and the insights he shared with me over time are an indelible part of my DNA.

Steve often crosses my mind, but even more so last week as we hit the 5 year anniversary mark of his passing. I can hardly believe it’s been that long! So I thought it would be fitting to share a few of the lessons and insights I cherish the most:

Ideas without action aren’t ideas — they’re regrets.

His point here was how many of your ideas could have turned out well if you’d given them your absolute best and really pursued them. Start trusting your intuition, instincts and judgment a little more; they’ll carry you far if you do. You won’t get it right each time, but if you do nothing & have regrets you’ll always get it wrong.

You can only connect the dots looking backwards.

Things that happen to you don’t always make sense in real time; it’s a matter of trust and faith that they will work out over time. Then when you look backwards, you often see why the outcome of a circumstance served you — as did a fork in the road you took when torn between options. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. So trust yourself and whatever else you believe in as you go forth.

It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.

Most people given an allotment of time to complete a task will take the full amount of that time & rush to complete it at the very end. Do everything as quickly & effectively as you can — and move on. Average people allow time to impose its will on them; exceptional people impose their will on time. The true measure of wealth isn’t the amount of money in your portfolio; the true measure of wealth is discretionary time.

Money doesn’t buy happiness — experiences are what really matters in life.

Steve certainly became wealthy during his lifetime — but it didn’t save his life when he became ill. Money is important and it does a lot of things for you, but it doesn’t buy you happiness. To be happier, don’t chase as many things — chase experiences that are meaningful for you instead. Someday you won’t remember what you had but you’ll never forget what you did.

Love what you do; if you haven’t found it yet keep looking don’t settle. You’ll know when you find it.

If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, pick something interesting and/or financially viable. Then work hard to improve your skills and expertise; small victories will motivate you to expand & gain more skills. One day, you’ll wake up feeling incredibly fulfilled because you’re doing great work that you’ve grown to love.

There is so much more…but in the interest of space I’ll stop here for now. I was incredibly fortunate to have spent the time with Steve that I did; I continue to benefit from his insights & he’ll never be very far away.


Do you have a favorite memory of, lesson or influence from Steve you’d like to share? Please be sure to leave a comment!

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