Everyone knows that Steve Jobs was a superlative businessman who created fabulous products that substantially changed the world. But he was much more than that. He was a businessman-philosopher, and the philosophy he embraced was the fundamental cause of his remarkable productivity, success, and happiness.
What was important to Jobs was not making money per se, but the process of creation. “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful . . . that’s what matters to me.”
Doing something wonderful, in Jobs’ view, doesn’t mean doing something that others regard as worthy; it means doing what you love and pursuing a career that makes you happy. As he put it:
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.
To succeed in your chosen career, said Jobs, you must not accept ideas without truly understanding them. “To [do] something really well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don’t take the time to do that.”
Jobs eschewed what Ayn Rand called second-handedness: unthinking acceptance of the views of others. . . .