Steve Jobs was one opinionated fellow. Besides Apple and turtlenecks, he was also known for uttering memorable quotes and quips. Some were barbs aimed at competitors *ouch*, but a lot of it was inspirational in nature.
So last week when the world awoke to news of his death, netizens flooded social media platforms with his most memorable quotes - " Stay hungry, stay foolish", they urged each other. Admirers paid gushing tribute to the man, his life and achievements.
Now all these Job-aholics, the ones who were deifying the man and garlanding him with virtual wreaths, do they really understand what he meant?
Remember "Think Different"? That famous slogan from Apple's 1997 advertising campaign......well Facebook and Twitter was flooded with people telling each other to "Think Different". Easy enough to say, but how many people out there are brave enough to think different and be different? Faced with those twin Demons - Society and Social Pressure - many will cave. It takes a rare, rare, individual to buck the trend.
The Mother of all Speeches
Jobs' commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005 - Will this someday go down as one of those often quoted great speeches in history? Will it take its place among luminaries such as President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream"? It most likely will. Hmm can't seem to think of any other memorable speeches. Are Americans the only ones coming up with great speeches......? Obviously not. Its just that theirs seem to be reaching a far wider audience.
"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.... 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 others' opinions drown out your own inner voice."
Now this is a speech written to inspire young graduates. And Jobs certainly delivered on that! But last week the story of the speech was re-opened, it went viral and got people gushing. Especially the above excerpts. I've read this before and last week I saw it again. And seriously folks, what is so.........exceptional about it?
Isn't this how we should all be living our lives (where possible of course!). Do we need Jobs to tell us how to do it? As much as this will be denied - very many people out there are confined by dogma. The ones who make a grab at being different, just turn out looking like Lady Gaga. Being different doesn't mean you gotta stick out like a band-aid! So when a guy like Jobs comes along, needless to say people are dazzled.
Well lets talk about me for a bit. I always wanted to be a writer, I knew for sure when I was about ten. Everyone wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, pilot, teacher - the stuff teachers and parents keep pushing down your throat. But I stuck with the writer thing.
Even when I finally became a journalist who earned a decent income and went to work everyday to do that which I loved, the dissenters never stopped. At one point an acquaintance told me that I was stuck in a dead end job. She said I should become an insurance agent. Coz then I would be able to make a lot of money! I told her that I did not become a writer to make tonnes of moolah. A comfortable middle class lifestyle was my aim, and my writer salary afforded me that much. She didn't get it, people like that seldom do.
So that's just a little example of how I never let the noise of other people's opinions drown out my own inner voice and beliefs. I'm sure there are many of you out there who refused to settle for what other people thought was best for you. We sure won't be impacting the 21st century the way Jobs has. But we get up everyday to do that which we love. Now what could be better than that?