Thursday, May 17, 2012

Finding Inspiration: Uncle Steve

I’m feeling a little inspired today. As you may or may not know, I’m a techie. Not in the nerdy or geeky sorta way; but the girlish type :D :D . The type that doesn’t care much about E!. Should I even be using that as a yard stick? I guess not; anyway, that’s not the point of this post but you’ll see the connection (I hope).

There are very few people-living or dead- that I can boldly come out and say I admire or that inspire me. This is because I’m not very heavy on words. If you say something nice to me, I might surprise you and give you a blank stare *sorry*. That’s why I’m terrible at “washing people” Bad behaviour? I know, and I’m working on it. Believe me.
So, when I say I admire (d) Steve Jobs, then you must know that I really do. *insert my techie paragraph above here* You understand why I started with that now, right? Forgive me if you don’t.

Okay, so as I was saying; Steve Jobs was one of the few people I admired in his lifetime and I think I still do even in his death. Why? One reason: Innovation. That, to me is the next best thing in life after God. There’s nothing like being ingenious especially in the very competitive world that we are in.
So, is this something like a tribute to Uncle Steve? Maybe. Followed closely by Whitney Houston and Tayo Aderinokun of GTBank, Steve Jobs tops the list of “significant people” whose deaths hit me the most (I dare not call them celebrities).

Where am I going with this? Yesterday, I read Steve Jobs’ popular Stanford 2005 speech again and a few things I had missed came to light, some of which I want to share:

1.   Connecting the Dots: “Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

#Note to Self: To that statement of trusting in something, I would add GOD. The absolute importance of trust and faith can never be over-emphasized. Is all of life itself not based on trust and faith? How is it that we are able to sleep every night and believe that in the morning we are going to wake up? Isn’t it because we trust that Someone or something has the job of ensuring that? You might take this to be spiritual, but as far as I’m concerned, all of life and living is spiritual. The question is which spiritual force controls you?

2.    Love and Loss: “I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life…and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees…and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired... I was a very public failure…But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did... And so I decided to start over. 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 returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance… I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. 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.”

#Note to Self: It doesn’t matter how many times you fail or even how terribly you fail; as long as you genuinely love what you are doing, you will always rise. So, do what you love and love what you do. It’s that simple. Be willing to start over, but take conscious steps to ensure you don’t fall as a result of your own mistakes; and even with that, if you fall, clean yourself up, get up and focus on the love you have for what you do. Don’t decide to go for the next best thing when you can have the best. I’ve done this man times in my life and a whole book will not accurately describe the pain I felt when I saw the best I could have taken. Raise your head and look beyond that corner; the best is just after the corner.

3.    Death: “…Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart...”

#Note to Self: What is important to you? What defines you? If someone had to describe you in one word, what would the person say? Whether you like it or not, that one word is what will be left of you after you’re gone. So, what do you want that one word to be? Live your life with openness that stems from the realization the one day, you’ll be stripped of everything by death. All the excess luggage will go nowhere with you.

I didn’t know Steve Jobs, but I was distressed by his death. The fact that someone with such intelligence and intensity can die one day is a subtle prompt that one day; we’d all answer the call. The question is will you look back on your life when you’re gone and be satisfied with how you lived?

P.S: This post is not about negativity in any way; it’s just a subtle reminder. Forgive me if it came across that way.
You can find Uncle Steve’s full text here 

1 comment:

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