18 Powerful Steve Jobs Quotes That Just Might Change Your Life

Steve Jobs was a man who left a dent in the universe. His ability to sniff trends out of thin air and set a benchmark for innovation has been unparalleled.

There’s so much to learn from him on innovation, intuition, decision-making, and leaving a legacy.

Here are the 18 most powerful Steve Jobs quotes to set you on the path to greatness:

1. Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.

It doesn’t matter how much money you have. What matters is what you DO with the money you have. Do you use it to create things or are you a consumer that feels entitled to everything that life has to offer?

2. Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

You can optimize design in work, in social life, in technology, and in virtually everything. Steve Jobs said the above words in regards to technology, because design is how people “feel” the product. So it’s one of the most important variables in technology.

3. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.

No matter which field you work in, being average sucks. You need to create something extraordinary to be remembered. Being average means you are easily replaceable. Steve Jobs created extraordinary technology that had the best design and was based on Apple’s philosophy of “thinking different”.

4. I want to put a ding in the universe.

The greatest thing you can do in life is to leave a lasting legacy. You have the power create an idea, product, philosophy, or anything that influences people and lasts even after you die. Greatness lies inside each one of us. Our duty is to harness it and use it for good.


5. My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.

The best things in life are love from relationships, the sound of birds chirping in the morning, or music that stirs your soul. Money can buy the flashy life. But when it’s all said and done, you need love and a pressing purpose to have satisfaction in life. The greatest resource is time, spend it wisely on people you love and doing things you love.

6. I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.

Steve Jobs was a remarkable entrepreneur. Because of vision for personal computers, he changed the way people study, get entertainment, or communicate with each other. To achieve something like this, we need to keep rolling when the times get tough. Seek support from your team and family, but never ever give up.

7. 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.

The most common thing among great people is that they love what they do. They understand that life is too short to do something you hate for money. It’s hard to sell your soul and then drink away your pain on the weekends. Don’t choose that life.

8. Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.

Everyone faces challenges. Steve Jobs was fired from his own company. But soon he started another company and succeeded, and was eventually called back to Apple. Don’t lose faith, use challenges to learn and grow.

9. Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

Steve Jobs dropped out of college and took calligraphy classes because he loved the work. If he hadn’t done so, you wouldn’t be reading the beautiful fonts on your computer today. Don’t be afraid to leave the herd. Try something new whether it is in your work or your personal life, it will fuel your spirit. A monotonous life kills the human spirit.

10. I’m as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.

Sometimes you have to say no to ‘average’ to make time for ‘great’. Think for a second. Everyone has the option to work jobs that pay just enough to pay the bills. But it is hard to build your skills and land a high-paying job that gives you enough freedom to travel and explore life. It’s easy to be average, that’s why most of us are average.

11. When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.

You need to do good even when nobody’s looking. It’s not about others, it’s about your integrity. Always be loyal to your personal ethos.

12. That’s been one of my mantras—focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.

Some of us have a habit of staying in our heads. We get so stuck in life that we never act and try out something new. To experience flow in life, you need to simplify things. For example, if you want to start a business, first have a great idea for a product or service that appeals to a mass audience. Everything else is secondary.

steve jobs quotes

13. The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

If you think you can do it, you probably can, and vice-versa. You need to believe in your own power to change the world. It’s not necessary that you do, but you can chase that dream if it comes from your heart.

14. 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 know what you truly want to become.

How often we don’t try something because our friends think it is too dangerous? Many people never try to convert their passions into jobs. We live in a world where you can monetize almost anything  as long as it helps people. For example, Will Barton, runs a successful dog training business in Cambodia and is known as “the dog whisperer”. Who could have thought of that?

15. You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

Don’t try to overthink every decision in life. You can never be sure of what’s going to happen. You need to have faith and most importantly trust your intuition that it’s going to end well.

16. My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each others’ negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts.

You should spend time with people who push you to be better every day. If you feel you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re sitting in the wrong room. In business, you need to find people who complement your strengths and weaknesses.

17. 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.

There is no reason to take risks. If you fear embarrassment, rejection, or failure, remind yourself that the pain of regret is the worst there is. One day you’re going to die and you won’t be able to do the things you can do today.  

18. 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. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

Sometimes sad endings are actually the best beginnings you could have in life. Steve Jobs’s board of directors fired him, but that’s how he started Pixar, the greatest animation companies in the world. So always keep your spirits high.

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