Last week, Steve Jobs—co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Apple, Inc., passed away at age 56. The news hit me hard. Though I didn’t know him personally, I wish I had. My heart goes out to his family as they mourn his loss. But even for people like me–who’d never met him–his loss leaves a huge gap. His innovation, leadership and vision influenced several generations. If you’ve ever owned or used an Apple product, you’re seen tangible evidence of Steve Jobs’ creativity.

He was a dreamer, a pioneer, a man who wasn’t afraid to take risks. He had vision and dogged determination and saw things as possible and doable—things that most people hadn’t even imagined in their wildest dreams. He was an inspiration.

I read a quote from him this week that I’ve gone back to and read–and re-read—over and over. Here’s what he had to say:

“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 already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
~ Steve Jobs

 Stops you in your tracks, doesn’t it? The wisdom in those words made me cancel my schedule-in-progress, unplug from all my electronics, and go find a quiet corner to sit. And think. I asked myself some hard questions and then gave myself enough time to listen, really listen, to what my heart and my intuition had to say.

Am I wasting my time trying to live someone else’s life?

Am I letting the “noise of others’ opinions” drown out my inner voice?

Have I gripped courage and determination with both hands and learned to let my heart–and my intuition—guide me into becoming what I truly want to become?

Some of these questions are settled in my heart and mind. But for others…I think there is some tweaking necessary in my life and schedule and how I spend my time. There are some areas that need to be brought into alignment.

How about you? Are you living your life? Your dreams? Are you making progress towards who you want to be and become?