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How to Live Before You Die (Essay) Summary Grade 11

 How to Live Before You Die

by Steve Jobs

About Author

Steven Jobs (1955-2011) was an American business magnate, industrial designer, investor, and media proprietor. He was the chairperson, chief executive officer (CEO), and co-founder of Apple Inc. and one of the pioneers of microcomputer technology. He was named the most powerful person in business by Fortune magazine in 2007.

The then CEO of Apple Computer, Steve Jobs’ speech 'How to Live Before You Die' adopts a tripartite structure and uses autobiographical anecdotes to communicate a message of resilience and personal integrity. This inspiring speech was delivered at Stanford University 2005 commencement address.



This essay " How to Live Before You Die" is a motivational speech which has been delivered by the CEO and co-founder of Apple Computer Steve Jobs. This speech has been delivered by him at the commencement of Stanford University in the year 2005. This speech encouraged the students of Stanford University as well as many people around the globe. Here in his speech, he uses personal stories to communicate a message of personal integrity and flexibility. He has delivered his life-related stories to motivate people who were present at that commencement. 


The first story he has shared is on what he calls connecting with the dots. In this story, he has shared his stories related to his birth. His biological mother put him up for adoption. He mentioned obligations, hardships and struggles behind leaving Reed College, in his life. According to him, he was quite unsure about his further steps in his life. He happened to take the classes of his interest which were the classes of Calligraphy. His knowledge and skills of Calligraphy turned out to be a kind of boon for him. He applied his skills and knowledge of Calligraphy while designing the first Macintosh Computer after ten years. With the help of his friend Woz, he was able to design the first Macintosh Computer with beautiful typography. He has related all his steps in his life as different dots. According to him, we can realize the connection of all these dots in our life when we look backwards. No one can connect the dots of their life looking forward. These different dots keep on connecting and pave the way ahead.


His second story is on love and loss. In this story, Steve Jobs has reflected his beginning of a career with Mr. Woz. They started Apple in his parent’s garage when he was 20. They developed the brand of Apple into a $ 2 billion company with over 4000 employees. After some years he was fired by the board of Directors and he became jobless. He didn't lose his hope. His love for his tasks helped him again. Because of his knowledge, skills and love he was successful to establish his new company Next and the world-famous Animation studio called Pixar.


His third story is about death. In this story, Steve Jobs narrates his experience of his sickness due to cancer of the pancreas. The doctor told him that such type of cancer couldn’t be cured. During that time, he experienced his death closely. According to him, death is life's greatest invention. Everyone has to share this intellectual concept. Death is life's change agent. After examining the report of biopsy, it was found that the cancer could be cured through surgery. After surgery, he got rid of his pancreatic tumour. He performed his roles again with full enthusiastic feelings which he couldn’t do before the surgery. According to him, we should always be eager to know and achieve important things in our life. 

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