Monday, November 8, 2010

Inspiring Inspiration

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

I came across a link for a commencement address the other day and decided to check it out. I know, I know, addresses and speeches like this are hardly ever attention-grabbing. I've sat through my fair share of them, and while at times they can be inspiring and motivating, they tend to be a bit too long, giving the audience just enough time thinking about random things like their grocery list or what they'd rather be doing at the time.

It's sad that commencement speeches have gotten such a bad wrap, but I think it would be safe to say that if you were in attendance at the ceremony from the clip that I watched, your attention would be at its peak the entire time. Larger universities usually pull in some great speakers, and this school is no exception. This speech was given by the Mac tycoon, Steve Jobs, to the graduating class at Stanford back in 2005.

He was certainly the exception to the rule of boring commencement speakers. His from-the-heart address really had an impact on me and I can say that it left me wanting more after he had finished up his speech. I've included it in today's post so you too can be inspired by his words.

(The clip is about 15 minutes long, and totally worth your time, so if you don't have a few minutes to spare right now, be sure to revisit this speech as soon as you can!)

He said a lot of great things during his address, and I found myself hitting the pause button quite a few times to write down the most inspiring of his words. I thought for today's post I would share just two of the many quotes that I wrote down from his speech to give you just a little taste of his inspiring words.
There is no reason not to follow your heart. -Steve Jobs
Everyday for the past 33 years, I've looked in the mirror 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" too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.  -Steve Jobs
We all know Steve Jobs is an extremely successful man and heads one of the most popular and innovative companies in the world. But hearing his own words of advice given to those who are just about to embark on a new professional journey in their lives really shows that he understands the importance of following your passion. So if you didn't believe me before about the inspiration behind his words, you can go ahead and click Play now.   :)

We hear all the time that we should be following our hearts, but how many of us actually take that seriously and really do it? A lot of times we (myself included) just make excuses as to why things wouldn't work or why we wouldn't make it concerning the things that our heart is pointing the way towards. Why? Well, because it's scary to take a leap of faith and it's a big risk. But if our heart is in it, we should feel safe that our passion will drive all of the other factors into our success. We need to follow our hearts- it's something I'm working on doing...and I hope you will too.

I think I too am going to start asking myself that question about "doing what I am about to do" on a regular basis because I think it's a great way to keep on track with our goals. Sure, sometimes we have to do the things we really don't want to do- that's just a part of life. But as Steve Jobs says, if we start to see a pattern of No's appearing, we know it's time to make a change. We've got to start filling each day with the things in life that we love the most...that's where we'll find we're the happiest!

So I assure you that this is one commencement speech that you will not dread listening to. I encourage you to listen to it with an open mind and heart and I promise that after hearing these inspiring words, you'll be happy you did. Keep his words in mind and be sure to share this video with your friends...we all need a little dose of inspiration once in a while!

What was your favorite part of his speech? I'd love for you to share your favorite quotes from the speech!

Keep Smiling,


  1. I said it when I shared this. WOW! This is amazing! Thank you for sharing this today.

    WOW! WOW!!!!

  2. I remember coming across this somewhere before, it is a great speech and I like the fact he says learning calligraphy has given both Mac and Windows the typefaces they now have :)

  3. @Chris: Thanks for the comment and I'm so glad you liked this post! I told you it would inspire inspiration!!

    @Linda: It certainly is a great speech! I too found that little calligraphy fact quite interesting...and Jobs' little plug about Macs being the "originator" of that typeface hahaha

  4. Thank you for sharing Steve Job's commencement speech at Stanford University.

    My favorite quote..

    "Sometimes, life is going to hit you like a brick but don't lose faith. Do what you love and never settle."

    It makes so much sense to be passionate about your own interests and to love what you do. My father would constantly drill this to me while I was little and it makes so much sense now. I wanted to be a few things growing up (namely a writer) but with what I did chose and despite the current consequences (as you know), I still don't regret a day because like Steve Jobs said in his speech, have faith.


  5. @Vanessa:Thanks for sharing your favorite part of his speech- that sure is a great quote! It's so true that we must have faith in our decisions and about the things we do in life.

  6. Hello! Wanted to drop by and say thanks again for linking to me! Made my day.

    This is a great post. Excellent food for thought.

    I immediately realized my answer would be no - but I think there's an exception. If you're working daily on a project that will not be complete for several more weeks/months, then of course your answer would be no! If it was your last day then you would certainly not spend it on a project you'll never get to finish.

    Just a thought.

    - Lauren

  7. I like Steve Jobs a lot! This clip was totally worth the 15 minutes or so. Wow, is right!

    I really liked this entire post!! Thanks for sharing! :-)



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