Revisiting Steve Job's 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech
When I first watched the commencement video in 2005, I barely understood what he is saying. When I read the translated script in Korean, I got it. To my memory, it was a very inspiring speech that makes people to want to live their own lives.
Now, I am "reading" Steve Job's biography through Audible.com. It led me to find some photos of his early days. While searching, I came across his iconic Standford speech again.
At this time, his speech meant something to me, and it was very profound. Journalists mentioned that he revealed his personal life stories, such as being adopted, dropping out of college, being fired, and getting cancer. As a career development person, I found that his message was so much associated with what career development professionals do to help people on a daily basis.
The following are his messages that I interpreted and thought important.
1. Connect dots in your life to create your future. One of my favorite approaches to help people connect the dots is to use the Career Style Interview (CSI) of Mark Savickas. In the CSI, there are a series of questions including earliest recollections, role models, favorite movies, etc. You can connect your dots by reflecting upon your history using good questions.
2. Search for and do what you love without settling. This would be the meaning of the famous quote he used at the end of the speech, "Stay hungry, stay foolish."This is message is about being spiritual. Baby boomers in the US have changed 11 jobs on average between their ages 18 and 44. Gen Xers and Ys, nowadays, are likely to change their jobs more frequently than the boomers. Steve wants you to take charge of your career based on your core passion. The first message, "connecting dots" can help this process.
3. Always be mindful of your death; live only what is truly important to you. This is a very strong message, and Steve practiced everyday. He mentioned that he re-oriented himself if he did not think worthwhile to do something when supposed his death. FranklinCovey company helps people think more concretely about what your friend, family, and coworkers would say about you at your funeral, which is powerful as well.
4. Don't lose faith that you can live the life that you imagine. This would be the foremost important one. When losing faith, you cannot live what you love. Once you found your true love, it is a matter of believing and just living it. It is about having hope and self-efficacy in your future and for what you (would) do.
I could explain the above linking with career development theories, but Steve did a much better job in explaining the core concepts than career theorists with his inspiring life stories. He is a true legend who seriously practiced career development.
You can do what Steve preached on your own with some guides (e.g.,48 Days To The Work You Love). At the same time, you can get professional assistance from career counselors, career development facilitators (CDFs), or career coaches, or even through websites like O*NET and Kuder. Trust me; career researchers and practitioners have created an unbelievable amount of wisdom and methods that can help you live your true life.
Well, starting off, I wanted to write my reflections about Steve Job's Stanford commencement video; but I ended up introducing the career development services. This is perhaps because I want to help people realize that there are effective ways to live what you love. They are too good to bypass.