The Steve Jobs Stanford Speech and What It Says About Travel and Life

by brian on October 6, 2011

The recent death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs after his battle with pancreatic cancer has brought to the forefront his personal philosophy of living for RIGHT NOW. In 2005 he gave the commencement speech at Stanford University. This speech has been watched over 10 million times on Youtube, and I’ve added it here for your viewing pleasure.

I just wanted to show a few excerpts from the speech that are relevant to you the traveler and to all of us as individuals, whether we are talking travel or not.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And 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.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. 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. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

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 others’ 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.

Are you not traveling because you’re not “supposed” to be traveling? You should be working in a position or industry that bores you or that you hate? Or in law school because your parents pushed your there? Or Grandma thinks you should married and pregnant? Did you decide those are the best options for you?

Or does someone else have their own plans for you?

If you don’t have a plan for yourself someone else does.

Truer words have never been spoken. Stop living the life someone else thinks you should have and live the one that gets you excited every morning when you wake up. Death is the common denominator for all us, and it will come sooner or later. Live life to the fullest now. If that means travel would be how you would want to spend the last year of your life, find a way to make it happen. You can check out MeetPlanGo and dozens of other books and websites that give you the steps and inspiration to go out and live your travel dreams.

Full text of Steve Jobs Stanford 2005 Commencement Speech


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

darlene October 11, 2011 at 12:44 PM

I remember the speech, but it got lost in the shuffle of Other Stuff in My Brain until Job’s recent deification, I mean, transition. I don’t think there’s ever a time when this reminder is not appropriate. Thanks for posting.


brian October 20, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Steve spoke the truth. There is much we can pull from this speech.


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