DID YOU WEEP AT THE NEWS STEVEN JOBS HAD FINALLY LOST HIS BATTLE WITH CANCER? I didn’t, nor did it shake my world. JFK’s death did that. Others were shaken by Princess Di’s death, still others by Micheal Jackson’s.
The Daily Post Challenge asked this rather no brainer question: Topic #270:With the passing of Steve Jobs yesterday, the web is filled with remembrances of a pioneer and industry legend. It’s a sad day indeed. But it’s also a good day to look back and consider the history of innovation. And how all the inventions and creations of the last 100 years have impacted us. Duh, as most people have noted we needed electricity to get us to the internet.
On to my questions. Did you weep, why, and why didn’t I. Not to put Steve Jobs down by any means. He was a genius: he did things his way; he gave the world some great tools; he was part of the generation that changed the world. But then every generation moves the world in one direction or another.
I also hear, he was a good father which balances out in my mind the fact many considered him a difficult friend and boss. And like the three mentioned above, death came much to early.
I think the death of an Icon we have come to admire for any number of reasons, makes us look at our own lives and the inevitability of our death. This rather long article makes the point that Midlife is when we see the our lives are half over and worry that we will not carry out all we have dreamed of doing.
Death is unavoidable, but for much of our lives we handle that fact in one of ways: deny that we will die or chase our fears of death through faith and a quest to live forever as heavenly beings.
I am grateful, my first job as a medical social worker forced me to face death. One of the things Jobs was admired for was saying. “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.”
Good advice, but here’s the kicker: sounds like dogma to me. Moreover, there is no way we aren’t influenced by other people’s thinking. Intuition consists mainly of the things we learned as a child, but no longer remember learning. Some of that learning was by direct experience, but a great deal was also from the voices of authority–meaning our parents, our teachers, and preachers.
Another interesting thing about Jobs; he didn’t have much faith in people’s ability to think for one themselves. One of his favorite quotes was by Henry Ford: “If we had asked people what they wanted they would have said ‘A faster horse.'”
What’s a person to do? Question. Question your thoughts, question other people’s thoughts, question dogma. Listen to your heart and your head because either one can lead you astray.
STAYING STRONG TIP: I think part of what Jobs was saying was have a mission, something that you feel passionate about so that when your days are drawing to an end, you can look back with some satisfaction. We pursue goals–which are not missions, but things we want to do or have. Goals are great and help us get where we want to go, but a mission is about the kind of person we want to be, and what we want our lives to stand for. When I give a workshop on Mission and Goals, I ask people to write their obituary for that is a way to define your mission. Try it. Missions matter for they can carry us through life even when our goals are not met.
Dr Suess says: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
I did not cry because Steven Jobs died, but I am glad he lived and gave us tools to make our living better.