This Steve Jobs Quote is 15 Years Old, but It’s Exactly What We Need to Hear in 2020

It’s hard to really grasp how much the world has changed for so many people, especially considering how little we’re all doing. For the most part, we don’t travel. We don’t go to restaurants. Most of the things we do all happen at home. 

Home is where we work and where our children do virtual school. It’s where we log on for yoga classes and piano lessons. Right now, as I write this, our daughter is training with her gymnastics team in the room next to my office. She has a balance beam and everything.

It’s easy to write off 2020 as a bust as far as years go, and you wouldn’t get much argument from most people. But just when you feel like the last eight months deserve a do-over, this simple quote from Steve Jobs can be a reminder that things will get better.

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”

Jobs said it as a part of his famous commencement address at Stanford University in 2005. At the time, he was in remission from pancreatic cancer, which had certainly given him a unique perspective on life and what matters. Struggling through difficult circumstances can do that.

That his encouragement was “don’t lose faith,” is worth remembering in a world that certainly feels like there’s another incoming brick every day. Cases of Covid-19 continue to rise. Businesses are closing their doors, many for the second time. Students are trying to learn online and parents are hav to figure out how to juggle getting their first-grader logged onto Zoom while also working from home.

When it does, it hurts not an insignificant amount. You’ll probably even feel disoriented for a while. It’ll definitely leave a mark, probably even a bruise. 

Eventually, however, you heal. Things may not ever be “normal”–you might even end up with a scar. But, you survive. 

You see, you can’t control whether life will hit you with a brick, but you can choose how you respond. You can decide whether or not you give up, or if you’re going to press forward. You can choose to not lose faith.

That’s important, because, chances are that someone else is counting on you. Your business, your customers, your employees, and your family are all depending on you to “keep the faith.” They’re counting on you not to give up because eventually circumstances will change and the bricks stop falling. 

When they do, you’ll want to pick them up and start building again. If you’re an entrepreneur, that’s what you do. If you give up, if you walk away from the pile of bricks, you’ll never know what you might be able to build. So, don’t. Don’t give up. Don’t lose faith. 

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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