7 Motivational Quotes From Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is, perhaps, the most iconic entrepreneur of the twentieth century, and maybe even the twenty-first century (thus far). Jobs is best known for co-founding Apple Inc. with Steve Wozniak, the development of the Macintosh computer, and as the founder and CEO of NeXT Inc. He also gained credit for helping to pioneer the visual effects industry in films when he helped transition Lucasfilm into Pixar in 1986, whose first project, Toy Story, was a huge success and sparked the popularity of computer animated feature films.

This week, another feature-length film dedicated to the life of Steve Jobs will be opening in theaters across the country. Actor Michael Fassbender will portray the tech guru and business entrepreneur in Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, which also features Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, and Jeff Daniels. From a career that has spawned seemingly countless books, feature-length films, and a wealth of modern technology, here are 7 quotes that can motivate you to accomplish your goals and make your dream a reality.

1. “I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

Jobs, himself, was no stranger to failure and disappointment. He was famously booted out of the company he had helped build, and his attempts at personal computers before the success of Apple II and the Macintosh were numerable. Through all his let downs, however, Jobs persevered and eventually came back full circle to serve as CEO of the same company he had been kicked out of years earlier. He never lost site of his dreams and goals, and despite life throwing every curve ball imaginable his way, he overcame the obstacles and never gave up.

2. “If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?”

Often times we tend to spend our days as if we have an unlimited amount of them left. The harsh reality is, however, that we only have today to live; the future is always uncertain. That being the case go and do something today that you will be proud you have done tomorrow.

3. “Let's go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday.”

Always thinking about the future, Steve Jobs was not one to dwell on the past. His failures and mistakes were only as valuable as the knowledge that he gained from the experience in making them. When you make a mistake, or fail at a certain project, do not let it determine the rest of your life, at least in a negative way. Think about what you did wrong, learn how you can fix it, and move on to succeed at the next project.

4. “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. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.”

Steve Jobs may not have been successful or wealthy for the first part of his life, but that didn’t stop him from living a life that made sense to him. He never gave up on his dreams and he never settled for a “desk job” when he knew he was meant to do something greater. Jobs struggled for a great portion of his adult life. He lived in a shed in his parents’ backyard and was a fundamental follower of Zen Buddhism.

But despite being poor and everyone telling him he was wasting his time with that “computer dream,” Jobs persevered and became one of the most influential people of the twentieth century. If you know your dream, never settle until you have achieved it.

5. “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

Your work ethic and your motivation can be greatly affected by the type of environment you find yourself in. For example, a floor manager that allows his/her employees to walk by a piece of trash without picking it up or walk in the door 10-15 minutes late will give the impression of a lower quality work environment.

Steve Jobs knew that if he maintained a certain level of expectations, he would get it from his employees and co-workers. Do not be afraid to stand out at your place of work or to set certain expectations. You may not know it but your actions can speak much louder than you know, and even motivate others to live up to your level of professionalism.

6. “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”

Making mistakes is simply a part of being innovative. When you attempt to make a product or service that has never been done before, you are bound to run into mistakes. Allowing your mistakes to get you down or hinder your ability to continue, however, will not only keep you from accomplishing your present task, it will also rob you of the opportunity to make more mistakes and the determination to see your goal through to the end.

Whenever you make a mistake, just remember that Jobs, Einstein, and even DaVinci made countless more before you. The trick will be to admit the mistake to yourself, step back and reconsider the information, and then find a new solution to your problem before moving on. Allowing yourself to learn from and overcome your mistakes helps you maintain your passion and your ability to persevere.

7. “Great things in business are never done by one person, they're done by a team of people.”

Steve Jobs always considered his success to be the result of teamwork. He rarely enjoyed claiming complete credit for himself and he recognized the entrepreneurial drive that people gain from direct encounters with other professionals with different experiences and perspectives.In this way, Jobs was always a great admirer of The Beatles and the success they enjoyed from hard work and innovation. He would later say that, “they (the Beatles) were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other, and the total was greater than the sum of the parts.”

Remember, to be truly successful you must be willing to persevere in hard times and accept help when you need it. Do not let things like recognition or pride stand in the way of your success. If you have the passion to complete your goal and follow your dream, recognition will fall into place in time.