10 Lessons Dancers Can Learn From Steve Jobs

“Visionary, revolutionary, transformative, innovative, pioneering — some of the many words used to describe the incredible life and career of Steve Jobs.” ~ Youtube Spotlight



Steve Jobs, Apple Co-Founder, and the genius who inspired the Mac computer, iPodiPhone and iPad died on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, at the age of 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/10/06/world-mourns-loss-steve-jobs/#ixzz1a0V6dawn

Mr. Jobs’ legacy is one that not only changed the lives of individuals and businesses all over the world, but also changed our world for the better, through his innovative creations at Apple, and his passion for his work and for life. There is much that we can learn, as dancers, from Steve Jobs and his beliefs, values, failures, success, and legacy.

Here are 10 Lessons Dancers Can Learn From Steve Jobs (*Please note: All of the quotes below are quotes by Steve Jobs.):

1. Anyone can innovate. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Innovation is not so much about having a special gift, skill, or educational background. It’s really about the ability to be creative, trust your instincts, act on what you believe, and take risks. Just because someone else hasn’t done it before, or YOU haven’t done it before, doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. Have an idea? Don’t sit home and think about it. Get up and make it happen!

2. Failure is not final. “I’m the only person I know that’s lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year…. It’s very character-building.” Always remember that, as long as you’re alive, you can always make a comeback, and recover from any situation. When you have breath, and life, you have infinite possibilities. What you may think is the end, your worst nightmare, or your worst-case scenario, is actually a situation that will build your character, your inner strength, and put your entire life into perspective.

3. Streamline Your Focus.….and it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” – Business Week 2004 What you say no to is probably even more important than what you say yes to. It’s the no’s that help you to stay focused on your specific goals and stay in harmony with your values.


4. It’s not all about money. “I was worth over $1,000,000 when I was 23, and over $10,000,000 when I was 24, and over $100,000,000 when I was 25, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.” We know that dancers don’t get into this business for the money, because frankly, dancers don’t generally make a lot of money (that’s not to say that it’s not possible to make a lot of money in this industry). Always remember WHY you do what you do. Is it because of how it makes you feel inside? Is it because of how it makes others feel? Keep in mind what motivates you besides money, because money comes and goes, but your inspiration, motivation, and purpose, always last.

5. Be True To Yourself, Even If People Think You’re Crazy. “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Dancers are certainly cut from a different cloth. We don’t exactly fit in with the masses. We’re creative, rebellious, and determined to do what we love at all costs. Injuries, lack of money, stiff competition, inconsistency, poor business practices, and limited funding for the arts won’t stop us. How crazy is that?! But it’s ok, because we’re living our dream, feeding our soul, and changing the world through dance. Never apologize for being who you are. God created you for a purpose.

6. Follow YOUR Dream, Not Someone Else’s. “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.” Isn’t it funny how your family, friends, colleagues, or significant other may have all sorts of ideas about what you should be doing with your life and career? But the truth is, it’s YOUR life and career, not someone else’s. So don’t let the thoughts, ideas, or doubts of others get you off track. You know what you love, you know what your passion is. Don’t second guess it. Just find a way to make your dream a reality.

7. Be Selective. “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do. Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.” You should not and can not do everything. There are some opportunities that you will have to let pass you by, and that’s okay. I always say that, you have to say no to what’s “good”, so that you can say yes to what’s “great”. You can’t have it both ways. Being selective can be a sacrifice at times, but it’s totally worth it.

8. Don’t Quit. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” Dancers, we have it very rough. This career is certainly not for the faint of heart. But what will make or break you is whether or not you keep going, and pushing towards your goals and dreams, or choose to give up and quit. If you quit, then you’re guaranteed not to reach your goals. If you keep going, your goals and dreams become more attainable everyday. Quitting is not an option.

9. Disappointments Can Be A Blessing In Disguise. “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” I can remember being cut at auditions for gigs that I thought would be my “Big Break”, and feeling so disappointed. But the fact of the matter is, if I’d gotten those gigs, I would not be who I am, and where I am today. I would’ve been on a completely different path. So take the disappointments of life as a steering guide, and an opportunity to reflect or re-focus. Remember, it’s not the end of the world. It’s actually just the beginning.

10. Never Settle. “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. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” – Stanford commencement speech 2005.

This quotes says it all.

How has Steve Jobs life and legacy inspired you? Please share your thoughts and comments below. Our prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.
Check out one of Steve’s most famous speaking engagements below. The 2005 Stanford Commencement Address.
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