What't the purpose of life? According to Apple’s Tim Cook, it's not to love your job

Lynsey Barber
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A job you love should not be the end goal, according to Apple's CEO (Source: Getty)

When he graduated from university in 1982, esteemed Apple boss Tim Cook was “fairly selfish” and wanted to find a job he loved.

The goal came from growing up in a lower middle class family with a "very blue collar background" and a father who did not love his job.

But several years later, Cook began to rethink this.

“I had begun to think through what is my purpose in life and I was struggling with a lot of things personally and professionally at the time," he revealed, speaking to students at Oxford University where he launched new startup hub The Foundry on Wednesday evening.

Read more: The one technology Apple’s Tim Cook believes will transform humanity

But, that's not to say you shouldn't end up with a job you love in the end - just don't make that the main goal, is Cook's advice. Here's his tip on what to pursue instead.

"It began to dawn on me that the purpose of life was not to love your job it was to serve humanity in a broad way and that the outcome of doing that would mean that you would love your job.”

He switched companies and jobs over the years on the search for such a job and was eventually recruited by Apple during Steve Jobs second tenure at the tech company.

“It was only after Apple where my values and my work aligned. And that has made all the difference for me," he said.

Cook also revealed that Jobs taught him “the joy was in the journey and not the final thing”, the importance of focus, telling him “you can only do a few things well” whether in your personal or professional life and that “you have to be ruthless as you chose the things you’re going to be great at”.

Read more: "Don't work for money", and 11 other devastatingly profound Tim Cook quotes

“If you spread yourself too thin personally or professionally you will not do great work,” Cook said.

And in terms of Apple, Jobs taught Cook that the company should own its primary technology and that “best is better than most”.

“We’ve never had a goal to sell the most of something. Sometimes it occurs, but frequently it doesn't’t. Our goal is to sell the best. We want a product we can be really proud of,” he explained.

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