One of the things that I love to do is listen to honest and open conversations about people’s journeys. I would spend hours just listening to Oprah’s Super Soul conversations, watching episodes of the Red Table Talk, listening to old interviews of Maya Angelou or listening to episodes of Jay Shetty’s podcasts amongst several other people I have become drawn to over time. I just love hearing people’s stories and about their journey; which generated a consciousness in me to be comfortable with sharing mine.

“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

– Michelle obama

I was listening to an episode of Jay Shetty’s podcast this week and in the conversation, Jay made reference to a speech which was a major source of transformation for him and that he listened to everyday for 9 months – It was the Steve Job’s Stanford commencement speech in 2005 which I had never listened to. After I finished listening to the podcast, in true Nifemi fashion, my next action was to find this famous speech. In between the speech, I had to pause to grab my note and pen and took a few notes I thought to share here.

There were 3 things Steve Jobs spoke about in the speech: Connecting the dots, Love and Loss & Death

On Connecting the dots: Sharing his personal story, he reinforced the need to follow your curiosity and intuition; this was a much needed reminder for me and referred me to an earlier blogpost I had written on living a curiosity driven life. You will gain skills and have experiences you probably can’t see how you need now but everything somehow eventually connects. As with all of life’s risks, there will be challenges along the way but you somehow need to trust that the dots will connect. Believing that the dots will connect down the road gives us the confidence we need to follow our heart.

You cannot connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backward

– Steve Jobs

On Love & Loss: Steve Jobs shared the story of how he was fired from Apple (a company he started) and how devastated and lost he felt for a a while. Looking back, he realized that the experience was one of the best things that could have happened to him as it gave him the courage to pursue other things that he loved which included starting 2 new companies – a new computer company, NeXT and Pixar animation studios. In that time he also met the love of his life – events he was sure would never have happened if he wasn’t fired from Apple.

Pixar went on to produce the world’s first computer animated feature film, Toy Story. Interestingly, years after, Apple bought NeXT and Steve Jobs was back in Apple as CEO…… talk about everything coming full circle.

“I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.

– Steve jobs

On Death: Steve Jobs shared about how he was diagnosed of a rare form of Pancreatic cancer and was told he had 3-6 months left to live. This helped him see life in a whole different perspective. At the time of the speech, the 6 months timeline had passed, he had undergone a surgery for the diagnosis and was okay. He passed away 6 years after in 2011.

“Remembering you are going to die is the best way to avoid the trap that you have something to lose. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

-Steve Jobs

He ended the speech with an admonition to “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish”: This means there is always more to do / gain (“stay hungry” for knowledge) and more to learn (“stay foolish”, meaning never consider oneself an expert but a fool in order to learn more).

Whilst I will not be listening to the speech everyday like Jay Shetty, I am glad I have these thoughts written as a reminder.

Wishing you a great month of August! Happy New Month.