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Two weeks ago I watched a YouTube video that I’m sharing with you today. This video is of Steve Jobs, Chairman of Apple, giving a commencement speech to the graduates of Stanford University. On October 5th, Steve Jobs passed on at 56 years of age.

His death reminds me “Life’s not a dress rehearsal”. This is it. We’re all walking on our own path through our life journey. Steve Jobs, at 56 years, contributed a lot during his brief walk.

As I’m writing this article on my Mac Book Pro computer, and about to make a phone call on my iPhone 4, I realize how much he’s touched my life with innovative technology. His message to the Stanford graduates touched me in another very powerful way. I was struck with the thought “How much more real and authentic could a person be about their personal life lessons?”

In the video Steve talks about three events that greatly impacted his life. Three life trigger points or what I call “profound life changing events” in my course called “Living The Good Life – On Purpose”.

I could really resonate.

Steve Jobs didn’t finish college. I didn’t finish college for most of my career. I received my degree from the University of Minnesota when I was 65 years old. At 27 years I was the beneficiary of a conversation about success at a Toastmasters meeting and learned about doing what I love and what I’m “gifted” at. It changed my life.

Hearing about Steve Jobs’ life struggle with cancer caused me to reflect on how cancer affected my life.

When I was 40 my wife, Shirley, died from Leukemia and left me with four wonderful children. When I went back to work after the funeral I was asked to terminate 12 people in my department and in five months my job was eliminated in Staff Marketing at 3M Company. I was told to find a job in a line division, the same day all personnel requisitions had been frozen because of the economy. I was without a job, no money, four kids to raise and a huge medical bill. Five years later, due to the third restructuring of Medtronic to deal with the new federal regulations, my job was eliminated there also. Both experiences were great lessons for me. I became a solo entrepreneur, facilitator, teacher, and coach for the rest of my income generation career.

Shirley’s death at 39 greatly impacted my life. It was a wake-up call regarding my life priorities. Today I talk about my life in two segments – before 40 and after 40. My health, my children, my relationship and my friends became my top four priorities. How I create my income became my fifth. Her death changed my life.

Since then I’ve had some additional health wake-up calls of my own with a couple of heart attacks and now I’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. These events have changed my life and caused me to become even clearer about what I would like to create and the contribution I would like to make during my time on earth.

I share these with you so you can understand why I resonated so strongly with Steve Job’s message. I suspect when listening to his message you too will relate to your “profound life changing experiences”.

I left viewing Steve’s message confirming that we are always at “Choice”. It’s important to do what we’re “gifted” at to be fulfilled. We zig zag to success by learning from our mistakes. I believe we all have a “Purpose”. It’s our job to find out what that is and live life fully engaged in our life journey.

Please take the time to watch this video of Steve Jobs. It’s just under 15 minutes long. I think you’ll be pleased you did. Perhaps you’ll also resonate with the lessons that Steve speaks to and reflect on how you’re living your life today. Blessings.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Are you clear about your “life purpose”? If not, how will you discover it?
  • Are you living the good life – on purpose? Good life could be described as “Living in the place you belong, with the people you love, doing the right work, on purpose”.
  • When you wake up in the morning, look into the mirror and ask yourself “Am I looking forward to what I’m going to be doing today?” are you able to say “yes” more than“no”? If not “yes” what action will you take?



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Larry Freeborg
Larry Freeborg is a life transition coach and inspirational speaker focused on working with people in the “Bonus Years” of their lives. His unique experiences working with businesses in strategic planning, business development (marketing & sales), leadership and personal development are blended with his training in life coaching, equine guided coaching, and his personal experiences with loss to form the foundation of his coaching practice, Living The Good Life on Purpose. Larry is available for speaking engagements with his popular “Refire, Don’t Retire!” and “Life Purpose Primer” programs. Contact Larry at