One of the most valuable insights I have gained from Steve Jobs’ commencement is the importance of exposing yourself to different experiences. We should embrace experiences even if their value may not be immediately apparent. Life is unpredictable and if we only choose experiences that are aligned with our present goals we may not adequately prepare ourselves for the future.
There was no apparent value in taking a calligraphy class but Jobs took it and it turned out to be a great decision in the future he could never have predicted.
While I do agree with Jobs in spirit that it is better to do something you love, I do not see it as a practical advice. Jobs might never have been this successful if he had not followed his passion but I am also inclined to believe stories like Jobs are rare and not the rule. If one doesn’t have to worry about economic issues, it is easier to follow your passion but most people do not have that luxury. While I do agree some people with very few resources did have the courage to take risk and the risk paid off for them, it is still not an advice that is practical for most people in my opinion.
But Jobs is right about living each day with passion. I also agree we should not pay much attention to most people because such an attitude would only distract us from realizing our potential. Similarly, he is absolutely right on the reality of change. I can understand why change is painful and comfortable for most people but I also believe it is futile to resist change whether in work or in everyday life. Thus, a better approach is to embrace change and look for opportunities to turn change into an advantage.