Personal Freedom

A really exciting aspect of taking responsibility for your actions is the freedom you feel. You will
feel empowered as well. In the 1995 movie Braveheart, Mel Gibson played the character
William Wallace, who desired freedom for Scotland. In the story, Wallace encountered many
obstacles. He didn’t blame the government, his comrades or even the situation. He simply
assumed responsibility, and he took the actions he needed to take to advance toward his goal.
Two of my favorite quotations from that movie are, “Every man dies, but not every man really
lives.” Also, the next line, which is only a word, is fitting here, since taking responsibility will
ultimately gain your freedom. Toward the end of the movie, Wallace is being tortured to get him
to confess. Regardless of the pain and suffering, he holds true to his cause and he yells out,

Even though Wallace’s country wasn’t technically free, he lived his life as if he were free—and
so he was. Admittedly, this movie contains some violent scenes; but, if you look deeper, it is
more about freedom and responsibility than violence.

We are talking now about personal freedom from our old conditioning. It comes down to your
making a decision. Only you can decide. Then and only then will you take the necessary actions
to accomplish your goals. I decided I was going to write these articles and, of course, you
decided you were going to read it. Unless I understood this concept of responsibility, I would not
have awakened early every day to write. Accomplishment starts with a desire and then taking
responsibility. Will you take responsibility for your success by shouting the word “freedom” for
your old conditioning to hear?

What is it you truly want? Do you know what it is? What does your ideal body look like? How
does it feel to live in your ideal body? Are you willing to take personal responsibility to become
aware of and achieve your ideal body? If so, you are ready to move to the next step of this
process. You need to create a clear vision, in great detail, of exactly what it is you desire.

Love & Loss

In wake of the recent passing of Steve Jobs I’d like to share another powerful lesson he left us.

Steve Jobs gave this as his second story of his Commencement Address at Stanford University on June 12, 2005.

Love and Loss

I was lucky. I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation – the Macintosh – a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started?

Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me – I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT.

I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

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. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers.

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. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

Steve Jobs

Apple updated its website Wednesday to reflect the death of Steve Jobs.