TEDFAV: Steve Jobs commencement address

If you, like me, are searching for wisdom in life, and want to hack the process (get more results in less time), one of the most distilled forms is the commencement speech. In less than 20 minutes, someone with a bunch of life wisdom (hopefully) endeavors to pass it on to a primed audience in a way they can understand and use. One of my favorites is David Foster Wallace (ok, he killed himself so maybe he had challenges applying the wisdom in his own life, but stick with me).

Steve Jobs is obviously one of the winners at this game of life. Sure he could be an asshole and that was in service of his mission in life too. Our heroes are never perfect, who can possibly be? The point of seeking wisdom is not to replicate someone else’s life, but to live our own at a higher level. So take what resonates, and integrate that. The trick is how to get the distillations of life lessons as efficiently as possible in a way we can relate to, so we can translate that wisdom into our own lifes. Jobs does this amazingly well by “just telling three stories”. One about a beginning (his birth, adoption, and path to work), One about love, for creating stuff, getting fired, creating again, meeting his wife, finding the path in unexpected ways. And one about Death, using the 100% certainty to live each day with intent. Three key areas of wisdom (valued through the ages by the way) delivered in a personal narrative that makes you sit up and say “Yea, that is how it should be and can be for me.”

I re-watch this almost every year. Small time commitment. Big reward. Enjoy.

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