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Don’t Settle

14 February 2014

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, Stanford commencement speech, June 2005


12 Comments to “Don’t Settle”

  1. Which clearly explains Apple’s recent behavior in the e-book pricing anti-trust case.

    They fought it in court. They didn’t settle.

  2. Where’s the part where he says, “and don’t hesitate to screw your friends.”

  3. This is the worst possible advice to give young people.

    “Do what you love” is just fine if you’re wealthy and have the opportunity to look from job to job to find out exactly what it is you love.

    “Do what you love” is fine for those rare few who figure out something that they love doing before they even get into college, and follow the path into a job that makes them happy.

    For the vast majority, “Do what you love” is a lie.

    My philosophy on work: Find a job that you like and can do well. If you stop liking your job, try to find another one. If you can’t do either of those, figure out a way to put up with the job that pays the bills. And jump at the chance to do something else if you can.

    What I love doing is writing. Hasn’t started paying the bills yet. I’ve been “settling” for decades, since I’ve grown fond of eating regularly.

    Steve Jobs’ advice is b.s. for most of us.

  4. I understand why people might not agree with this, but I think if you scratch beneath the surface, it’s profoundly wonderful and true advice.

    It’s not always about what you make money at. Have a day job, if your true love isn’t a money-maker. But once you find what you love, keep it in mind and put your true energy there.

    It may not be how you earn your bread and butter, but it’s your true vocation.

    • 100% agree. That’s the marvelous thing about this new era. Every artist can have an etsy shop. Every writer can publish. It’s a renaissance.

      Nobody has to be defined by what makes them money.

    • That’s not what Jobs is saying. He’s not talking about hobbies, or doing things in your spare time. He’s talking career. He’s saying that only people who love their work can be great. He’s saying that you should not settle for anything less than what you love. His advice is a recipe to be an unhappy person in work for the rest of your life, constantly thinking you’re a failure.

      And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

      That’s not ambiguous at all. According to Jobs, the ONLY way you can do great work is if you love your work. His advice is horrible for young people.

      • He’s right. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. How can you take pride in work otherwise? What he did not say, “is to do what you love”.

        The difference is finding something to do that you can learn to love, however temporarily. You won’t become great doing what you hate.

  5. I agree with what Steve Jobs says. This advise however, has to be consider carefully by each individual. I know that when I do what I like doing I always succeed, and my life is so much more fulfilled. Of course eating is a fulfillment too, and loving to surf full time does not pay the bills. (I don’t surf)
    Of course ‘don’t settle’ may mean don’t give up and don’t do what you dislike, or take no enemies.

  6. “But of you want to be successful, restrain free trade, create walled gardens so people have to buy only from you, conspire with rivals to keep salaries of engineers down, and push for more visas to hire Indian engineers at lower costs. Idealism is for suckers.”

    But, yeah, “screw other people first” pretty much sums up Jobs’ true beliefs.

  7. Good advice for marriage, bad advice for career.

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