I am not an iPerson. I appreciate the technology, am jealous of all the fun people with Apple products can have (for example: Instagram), I just don’t own any of it. When it came time for me to buy an mp3 player, I chose a Creative Zen instead of an iPod. Instead of an iPhone, I have a Virgin Mobile pay as you go flip phone that can’t even take pictures. And for my laptop, no iPad for me, but rather a ASUS Eee Netbook.
Part of it is that I’m cheap, and a pleasure delayer, and I try very hard to live a simple life with as little attachment to stuff as possible. My husband and I have a long standing habit of discussing a new purchase (couch, TV, dishwasher) for at least five years before actually going through with it. Early on it was because we didn’t have any money, later it was because we’d made a few purchases that we’d then regretted (a $500 Palm Pilot that Eric hardly used, and a 1977 Nissan 260Z that we nicknamed “the money pit”). Then it was just that we realized if we put off a purchase, we’d have more time to consider why we wanted the thing, to think about if it were really what we wanted or if there were actually some other need we were attempting to fill that could be taken care of some other way.
So, the fact that Steve Jobs was the Apple guy isn’t why I’m sad today. I’m sad because another bright light, someone who cared about doing great work, who was creative and inspiring, was taken by cancer.
This morning, I re-watched his 2005 graduation speech at Stanford University. There are so many bright and shiny moments of truth here.
For example, “And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.” This is such a good reminder, that we should be following these things. It encourages me to keep going, to stay on the path. And I love that he says these priceless things were “stumbled into”–no graceful, choreographed moments, no plan, but rather it was messy and accidental, and there most likely was the risk of injury.
Then, “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.” You can’t know where any of this will lead, you can’t wait until you have a really great idea before you start. You have to trust in what you are doing, in what is leading you. And be prepared, because “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith, ” because that’s okay too, part of the process. If you get knocked down, get back up again. Get moving, and keep moving, and trust that it is all going to make sense in the end.
And for me, who is struggling to align my purpose, my passion with what I am doing with my life, this: “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.” This, particularly, causes the butterflies in my stomach to flutter, but that’s okay, because “You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
And finally, “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.”
Thank you, Steve Jobs. Thank you for reminding me to trust myself, my heart, my curiosity and my intuition. Thank you for reminding me that I don’t have any more time to waste, that death is right there, every day. Thank you for reminding me about the great work and trusting in the path because there is love there, and that it will manifest into something I can’t imagine for myself now, but to have faith. Thank you for reminding me not to settle.
And to you Cancer, I don’t need to say it again, you already know how I feel about you.
- “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” How can you honor these words and yourself today?