Steve Jobs was invited to give the commencement address at Stanford University back in 2005. He told some stories, gave some advice, and was pretty funny at moments. What all of his story and advice boil down to is three points:
1. You must believe that the dots will connect somewhere down the road. This will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the beaten path, and that will make all the difference.
2. Do what you love. Don’t settle for less.
3. Remember that you are going to die, this will help you avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Have the courage to trust your intuition. Stay hungry, stay foolish.
Now, you be may be thinking, well that's fine for him, but I'm not Steve Jobs, so it doesn't apply to me. It's fine for him to have made something of this life, but I'll never have his chances.
You'd be wrong.
This advice does apply to you, and to me, and to everyone else you know. It applies to your children, who followed their own dreams instead of living up to yours. It applies to anyone living on your street who is doing what they love doing, no matter how mundane it may seem to you.
It applies equally to people you like and whose lives you approve of, and to those you don't like and don't approve of. I know post-hippies living in the New Mexico desert who are living out their dreams; it's just that their dreams aren't "ambitious" in the fame-and-fortune department. Their are people you know who you think are wasting their talents; but it's their talent to waste, not yours.
THe part of Jobs' advice that I find most compelling is that we're already naked, we're already mortal: there's nothing to stop you from following your heart, this instant, right here, right now.
Remember, Steve Jobs started as a hobbyist in his garage.