Steve Jobs Secret to A Better Life

Timeless Lessons Straight from the Archives of the Silicon Valley Historical Association


In an old interview that can be found in the archives of the Silicon Valley Historical Association, Steve Jobs says that there is a single secret that could change anyone’s life altogether. It sure changed my way to approach life when I first heard it. I suggest you pay close attention to it also.

On the simple, unprofessional-looking footage, Steve Jobs talks about the typical lifestyle advice we tend to hear from our families and society. The one we are all used to, which says that we should all go to college, have a nice job, save a little money.

His argument is that just doing this would be an extremely limited life, and that life can be much more broad and complete, once we realize a neat little fact: everything we see in life (the institutions, the ideas, the products) were created by other regular people, no smarter than ourselves.

The implications of that, according to him, are amazing. It means we can create our own lifestyles, and mold our lives however we like. The decision is up to us, and there is no need to follow old norms.

With that in mind, we developed 2 ways you can use to start following Steve Jobs advice today:

Take advice, but not orders

Obedience is highly prized in our species. We are supposed to follow a set of rules and norms to be considered respectable members in our society. But the problem with following orders is that if we do what everyone has done before we will get the same results. Orders seize directly on our freedom, and limit our potential. Although learning from advices can be a great learning opportunity, just following orders turns us into robots. To influence life around us, like Steve Jobs did, we have to do much more than we are told to.

Explore college beyond college classes

College is an amazing experience. And, as most students would agree, classes are not necessarily the best part of it. Experimenting with all college has to offer beyond classes, such as joining student clubs, looking for professional opportunities and enjoying the social life, is a great way to live beyond academics.

This entire story reminds me of an old Brazilian piece of advice I have heard from my dad since I was a little brat. It states that, “what we take from life (to afterlife, if you are into that) is the kind of life we undertake.” The saying essentially means that the only really important thing in life is how we decide to live it.

The result is powerful when we pair Steve Job’s advice to the Brazilian saying: It does not matter what we are told to do, or how people think our life is supposed to be like. There is no need to follow the norms, or do as we are told. We have the power to mold life, in whatever way we desire to, and there is no better way to live life.

Arnobio Morelix is a social entrepreneur at PESSOA Institute

*This story was first published at the UDK