If you haven’t already seen the many pointers at this Commencement address from a week ago, here’s another. Jobs hits this point hard – "do what it is you love to do."
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 other’s 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.
Let me add a caveat to that – "do what it is you love to do that is going to have a positive impact on the world." Too many of us chase success when we are really designed for significance. We will experience the greatest happiness when the work we do positively changes the lives of others.
I love these lines from a Rich Mullins Song – The Maker of Noses:
They said boy you just follow your heart
But my heart just led me into my chest
They said follow your nose
But the direction changed every time I went and turned my head
And they said boy you just follow your dreams
But my dreams were only misty notions
But the Father of hearts and the Maker of noses
And the Giver of dreams He’s the one I have chosen
And I will follow Him
We’ve been designed by the Creator to have significance. The lie is to chase after success in the hopes that it will bring significance. Chase after God-breathed dreams and I believe you will experience God-breathed success within a life of significance.
It’s important to note that Jobs is an autodidact. Don’t read into his story that higher education is unnecessary- note that it was given to the commencement class of Stanford University. Too many of us limit the impact we can have because we are unwilling to "waste" four years (or six or eight) on university. "I’ve got too much life to live to waste that amount of time."
A friend recently told me this story. A 49 yr old man was telling a young boy of his struggles with deciding whether or not to pursue his Master’s degree at his "advanced age". "Why I’ll be 53 when I finally get that degree." The boy looked at him for a moment and then quietly asked, "How old will you be if you don’t get the degree." My friend went on to remind me that the Apostle Paul was probably at least 50 when he began his apostolic ministery. And only a little study will show the significance that Paul experienced.
So if you’re reading this and you’re my age, 49, how old will you be if you don’t pursue what you’re designed for, and If you’re reading this and you’re just starting out, perhaps deciding on a university, then let me recommend Hugh Hewitt’s In But Not Of: A Guide to Christian Ambition, a book that will help you understand the impact you are designed to have.
We’ve all been designed for Achievable Ends. To run the race laid out before us and to hear at the end, "Well done!"