New Steve Jobs advice — from a commencement speech delivered by Laurene Powell Jobs

The wisdom of Steve Jobs still lives on, even 10 years after his death.

Laurene Powell Jobs channeled advice from her late husband, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, telling graduates at the University of Pennsylvania to focus on work that offers life fulfillment and goes beyond a paycheck.

In her commencement address this month to the University of Pennsylvania’s 2021 graduation class, Powell Jobs passed along a pep talk that her late husband gave her to help guide graduates find what matters in life.

“We should all be ambitious to be good stewards of our planet, and good caretakers of one another during the brief time we have together. Because sometimes our time here is briefer than we desire,” Powell Jobs said on May 17.


Steve’s words: “Do what you love”

“Steve used to say 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,” she said. “And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Let his words guide you, as they’ve guided me.”

Powell Jobs said the only way to do great work is by doing what you love.

“Tend to your soul and your community”

“Discover or create your own practices. They do not have to be grandiose, but they must be regular,” she said. “Make space for them, and make time. Tend to your soul and to your community. Infuse your values into every part of what you do, and how you live. Your values should be like your fingerprints: proof of where you have been and what you have touched.”

Her husband, Steve Jobs, died in 2011 due to complications of pancreatic cancer. He was 56. He’s credited with being a pioneer for the digital age by birthing personal computers before creating Apple’s portable, digital device army, which includes the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad.

More about Laurene Powell Jobs

Powell Jobs, the founder and president of Emerson Collective, a private company that supports social entrepreneurs and organizations working in education and immigration reform, social justice, media, and journalism and conservation through partnerships, grants, and investments.

She is an alumna of Penn, earning a B.A. in political science from the College of Arts and Sciences and a B.S in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania before going on to work at Goldman Sachs, which she said helped mold her into who she is today.

She said when she left Goldman, she was told by the company that her position would always be there if she wanted to return. It created a safety net or fall back plan in case things didn’t work out, which enabled her to open up and think beyond the present.

“I had permission to imagine the world not as dangerous but as wondrous; to dream up different life paths,” she said. “And from that moment on, I thought differently about what was possible to accomplish, what was possible to see, how I could possibly be helpful to others along my path.”

If you are feeling nostalgic for more of Jobs’ wisdom check out his iconic Stanford University commencement speech from 2005.

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