1. Follow your heart
Almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
2. Trust yourself
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, life, destiny, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
3. Love what you do
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.
4. Go for a home run
Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. One home run is much better than two doubles.
5. Pick carefully
People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.
6. Work hard to make it simple
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.
7. Steel great ideas
We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.
8. Your goal isn’t to make money
Apple’s goal isn’t to make money. Our goal is to design and develop and bring to market good products. We trust as a consequence of that, people will like them, and as another consequence, we’ll make some money.
9. Don’t lose faith
Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.