19 Life Lessons From Apple Founder Steven Jobs



Steven Paul Jobs was one of the greatest visionaries and pioneers of the 21st century. We will highlight Top 19 Life Lessons from Steve Jobs. He wasn’t an engineer, did not completed his college degree, yet he was able to turnaround the near-bankrupt Apple into the most valuable brand in the world.

He will also be remembered as a digital visionary — the man who brought poetry to the microchip. He not only transformed one industry but several others such as mobile phones, computers, and movies.

We can’t all be Steve Jobs, but we can all learn from his extraordinary life.


1. Beginners Don’t Have Baggage.

The lightness of a beginner frees up creativity.  Steve says, “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”


2. Be Bold.

Life’s brief, then you’re gone.  Steve says, “Life is brief, and then you die, you know?”


3. Be What’s Next.

Don’t chase after what you missed.  Instead, figure out what the next big thing.

Steve says, “If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it’s worth — and get busy on the next great thing. The PC wars are over. Done. Microsoft won a long time ago.”


4. Design By Committee Doesn’t Work.

You can’t arbitrate your way into a great design.  Take it from Jobs, “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups.

A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”


5. Design Is More Than Veneer.

Design is a multi-layered thing.  It’s a lot more than just veneer.  Steve says, “In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains and the sofa.”

But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design.

Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.


6. Don’t Live Someone Else’s Life.

Live YOUR life.  Steve says, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.

Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”


7. Drive To Do Great Things.

It’s your ambition, passion, and drive that will take you places you never dreamed possible.

Don’t worry about impressing others.  Impress yourself.


8. Excellence is a way of life.

Steve finds the art in life and the beauty in engineering.  He sets a higher bar.

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

Jobs also says, “We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.”


9. Obstacles are meant to be Overcome

Jobs and Wozniak ran out of money while developing the first Apple computer. Instead of giving in, Jobs sold his van and Wozniak sold his graphing calculator. When there’s a will, there’s a way.


10.  Have a Higher Purpose

Buddha said, “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”

Jobs has turned his vision into reality since he began practicing Buddhism in the 1970’s.


11. Get out of the way for the moving force.

The ones doing the work are the moving force.  Get out of their way.

Steve says, “The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay.”


12. If they fall in love with the company, everything else takes care of itself.

The real secret to taking care of the company is hiring people that fall in love with the company.

Steve says, “When I hire somebody really senior, competence is the ante. They have to be really smart.

But the real issue for me is, are they going to fall in love with Apple?

Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself. They’ll want to do what’s best for Apple, not what’s best for them, what’s best for Steve, or anybody else.”


13. It better be worth it.

If you’re going to put your life force into it, then the journey has to be worth it.

Steve says, “And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.”


14. It’s not the money.  It’s the impact.

Make people’s lives better.  Leave the world a better place.

Steve says, “I was worth over $1,000,000 when I was 23, and over $10,000,000 when I was 24, and over $100,000,000 when I was 25, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.”

Jobs also says, “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.”


15.  Be wise in the company you choose to keep

Steve Jobs always hired and surrounded himself with great minds. He hired Steve Wozniak because he knew that he was better than Jobs in building computers. Some of the more prominent people who worked with Jobs were John Lasseter and Tim Cook. These people helped Steve Jobs to achieve massive success in making Apple the most valuable brand in the world.

You should learn to surround yourself with great people in order to achieve success. Don’t let your ego get in the way of who you choose to interact and work with.


16. Learn from the failures and keep moving forward

In 1984, Apple fired Steve Jobs. He could have chosen the option of feeling depressed about it but he took it in a positive way.

At Stanford’s 2005 commencement address, he said;

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

We should also not fear failure because it is not the end of the end. We should treat failure as an opportunity to improve oneself


17. Do only what you truly love

While addressing the students and faculty members of Stanford University, Steve Jobs said  The only thing which kept him going while facing challenges and obstacles was the fact that he was doing what he loved. He also said to find what you love both in your professional and personal life.

If we do what we truly love then we do that particular work with complete passion. We don’t make any excuses for not giving everything we have.


18. Learn from others

When Steve Jobs was in high school, he attended lectures at Hewlett-Packard. Before the age of 21, he had already worked for HP and Atari. He worked there and learned what these companies were doing and he implemented those strategies at Apple.

You too should learn from others. If you don’t see any results while working towards a certain goal, then you should take advice from the experts in that field. Sometimes, a little help is all you need to achieve success.

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs


19. Keep it simple

When the engineers were developing the iPod, Jobs insisted that there should be no buttons at all and that the only button would be the on/off one. The engineers were skeptical to say the least, but Jobs would not relent. Keeping the whole operation simple was essential to this and many other projects. In the end, the scroll wheel was developed and is still a feature of IT today. We can learn from Steve Jobs that laser focus can sharpen our minds and help us to prioritize.

“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.” — Steve Jobs


Are You Ready For Success?

I’ll let Jobs have the last word:

“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. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”


Now you know the top 19 life lessons from Steve Jobs, so whenever you feel depressed, confused, embarrassed or have any negative feelings, only remember one thing; you are not immortal. You will be dead soon, so instead of feeling depressed make sure that you utilize every second of life.

Though Steve Jobs has passed away, his legacy will be with us forever. He was an inspiring human being who was and is respected by many.

The way he lived his life both personally and professionally is commendable and if we can learn from his teachings, then it will definitely help us in achieving success in life.


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