When Steve Jobs gave his commencement speech at Stanford University, his topic was “How to Live Before You Die.” Since most of us have no idea how much time we have left on this earth, we live as if it is endless. Steve Jobs wasn’t so fortunate. His time, like ours, was limited. The difference is that he knew it, and did something about it.

One of his messages in that speech was the importance of doing something you love. Steve Jobs was one of the greatest innovators and technological geniuses of our time, and was passionate about his work. He lived loving what he did. He died loving it. And his impact on humanity will live on forever.

Steve Jobs adamantly believed that we cannot be satisfied with how things areOne day before he passed away, the latest version of the iPhone was released. I have the iPhone 4, the earlier version. I love it. I use it daily. But Steve Jobs adamantly believed that we cannot be satisfied with how things are; rather, we must constantly strive to improve upon what is already good. Even on those things that are already great.

As the Jewish people, we have just entered a new year. We collectively ask for forgiveness, and reflect on what we can change and what we can improve. Last year may have been a healthy, productive, satisfying year. But this year offers the potential for a new version.

Steve Jobs didn’t always have it easy. He created products that lost to their competition, did things that weren’t conventional, and faced his fair share of critics. But he persisted and eventually succeeded. He knew what his goal was, he knew his direction, and he let nothing stop him from getting there.

We can easily get stuck in the past. We might figure that if something didn’t work before, it won’t work now; or, if it did work then, what’s the point of improvement? Steve Jobs, however, lived for the future in the present. He looked to yesterday only as a guide so that he could change his tomorrow.

In Hebrew the word for the past is avar, which shares the same root as the word for “sin,” aveirah. We are constantly obligated to improve, for ourselves and for the world around us.

Loving what you do is an integral part of successMy gym has a great catchphrase: “There is no such thing as staying the same. You are either striving to do better, or allowing yourself to become worse.” Steve Jobs was always striving to become better, to improve upon greatness and to create the unimaginable. In doing so, he showed the rest of us how a college dropout has the ability to change the world. He showed us that loving what you do is an integral part of success. He proved that innovation is necessary, and that things can always be better.

Each and every one of us has a new version to create. There are no limitations for what can be. So let’s take advantage of the blessing we are given each new day, and learn how to really live our lives.

Sent from my iPad