Thursday, October 6, 2011

An Apple from the Teacher

In my morning haze, I was paging through this morning's New York Times, feeling sad about Steve Jobs when I scanned the lead OpEd piece entitled Where's the Jobs Bill?  I was thinking the editors had come out awfully quickly with an oped piece on the genius, only to realize it was another demoralizing plea for Republicans and Democrats to get along with each other.  If Steve Jobs were writing a "bill" I think it would be in a beautiful font and it would take the lessons from his own life which he so simply recounted in the now famous Stanford graduation speech in 2004.  Some of his words:

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 others' 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.
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.
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.

If you know a junior or a senior (high school or college) or a gradutae or even a worried child in kindergarten who might feel overwhelmed and stressed by uncertainty or feeling powerless, share Jobs words with them.  Print them out and put them on a card against the salt and pepper shaker on the dinner table tonight.  Ponder the wisdom of this man's many gifts to all of us, including his personal philosophy. And try putting the iphones away just for the length of the conversation.

image from via Google

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