Thursday, October 6, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

Yesterday, October 5, 2011, the news came that Steve Jobs had passed.  He was only 56 years old.  Yet, this visionary man touched almost every life in our 21st Century world with his innovative thinking.  The co-founder of Apple, Inc. and Pixar clearly loved what he did and did what he loved.  His words to the world were to always go after what it is you want in life…to love what you do…to think outside the box. 
When I was young, along with Steve, technology was just in the process of being born.  I remember as a child, my mother worked for a large insurance company.  She worked in the “computer room”…an office which was probably 30 or 40 feet squared.  In the middle of the room, was another glass room probably 15X15 feet which housed the actual IBM computer.  It was a HUGE machine and the people (mother included) sat around outside of it and “punched keycards” which held binary codes of information.  At least that is my understanding of something I really never understood at all.  But, I do know that the computer held all the information of the company, run out in long reports on wide, green lined paper and that those cards were how the information got into the computer.  Oh, and the reason the computer was housed in its own glass room was to control the temperature which had to be very cool.
From this contraption, the PC was born.  Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and others pioneered our modern day version of a computer…small, wireless, user friendly.  Every year or two, these devices have been made more and more efficient, more manageable, and more accessible to all.  Our grandchildren have never lived in a time when they did not exist.  And, of course, this story isn’t over yet!  What the next wave will be and the persons to create it are on the horizon waiting for their time.
Yet, I cannot help but think that all the money, all the intellect, all the fame that Steve Jobs created could not grant him one day longer on this earth.  Fifty-six is so young, especially from my own point of view!  He grabbed life by the horns and kept on creating, innovating, and expanding until the end.  What an example for each of us to follow.  We may not have as large of a contribution to make to society as Steve Jobs, yet ours is none the less important.  Maybe our contribution is to just smile at strangers each day and lift someone’s spirit.  Maybe our job is to raise children.  Maybe our job is to teach (for the most part) thankless teenagers.  Each job, no matter how large or small it seems, is ultimately important to the turning of the world.  Each of us is charged to give our all in whatever field we find ourselves.  And no matter what else we may be doing, each of us is required to do our work with kindness, love, and acceptance of all.
Apple, Inc. is a household word.  When we hear this name, we think of innovation and probably something we would like to own such as an iPad, iPhone, or Mac.  What do people in your world think of when they hear your name?  Does it bring a smile and a feeling of well being, or is it something others want to avoid?  Granted, you can’t please everyone, but does your world light up at the thought of you?  If the answer is no, you can change it.  The first place to look is in your own mirror…do you light up when you look at yourself and think of who and what you are?  Think about this…time is short…what can you contribute with the time you have?

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs…may he rest in peace knowing that he made a difference in our world:
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Steve Jobs (My research says that Mr. Jobs did not say this, but it was used as an Apple ad and several people donated the words.)
“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.”
“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 other's 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.”

"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."

"That's been one of my mantras -- focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains."

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