Thursday, February 6, 2014

Steve Jobs' Enduring Wisdom on Failure, Perception, Trust & "Connecting the Dots”

Wisdom realized from Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address is as relevant today as it was in 2005. I propose that his uncomplicated and powerful wisdom will remain relevant for decades to come.  Steve begins his Address via the telling of three stories from his life.  Through the telling of his stories, Steve “connects the dots” for us, suggesting that we derive meaning from our various life events when we view them from a looking backward perspective; we are unable to "connect the dots" in a meaningful manner in the present or looking forward into the unknown future.

Each of us has countless stories we could tell about our life events, some that we consider huge successes and some that we might label failures. In the moment, what we experience as a failure often shifts in meaning via the passing of time and a “connecting the dots” backward perspective. Many situations that I labeled as failuresin my own life, ultimately led to some of my greatest successes. Both perspective and meaning often profoundly shift over time. When we learn to trust that things will ultimately work out, something shifts in us that enables a form of peace and confidence to be released - an internal paradigm shift, so to speak. Steve emphasized the importance of trust, following our curiosity and passion, and identifying and focusing on what we love to do. When we give ourselves permission to trust and follow what we are magnetically drawn to do, the soil of failure can provide the requisite nourishment for our next success.

You can view the Stanford Commencement Address below and related Transformational Communication blog posts at:



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