Steve Jobs on "The Most Important Thing" in Life.

Today Apple devoted its website homepage to the anniversary of Steve Jobs passing. It is a tasteful memorial with a short film and a statement from his family. The film, Celebrating Steve begins with an inspirational statement by Jobs on life and then continues with different highlights of his journey at Apple paired with additional comments. The Apple moments are very familiar to me as I watched them all live, as they happened. Still, the statement at the beginning of the film was new to me.

When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world; try not to bash into the walls too much. But life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact and that is, everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it. You can Influence it. You can build your own things that other people can use.

Wow! If that doesn’t move you in some way then please consult a physician after checking that you have a pulse.

The quote is an excerpt from a 1994 interview by the Santa Clara Valley Historical Association. In a longer version of the excerpt, Steve continues his thought on the secret of life:

The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will pop out the other side. That you can you can change, you can mold it. Thats maybe that most important thing. Shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it versus embrace it. Change it. Improve it. Make your mark upon it. However you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better because, it’s kinda messed up in a lot of ways. Once you learn that you’ll never be the same again.

Damn—if you’re not inspired by now you might be walking dead.

I can understand why Apple didn’t include the second half, but I’m glad I found it. I’ve been an avid Apple fan since 1982. I’ve watched a lot of Jobs’ interviews and all of his product unveilings, but this is a rare time where we get to see Steve being human instead of a showman and genuinely caring for the world-at-large. I wish we had more but this is going to fuel me for some time. I hope it does the same for you.