Why do I feel like I have lost someone really close to me? That’s the question that keeps popping in my head today. I didn’t know the guy, didn’t have much hope to ever meet him, don’t know much about his life, and yet I feel this strange feeling of loss and emptiness. My love for him has nothing to do with the madness surrounding Apple products. It started way back in 2007 when I first saw the video of him at the Stanford commencement speech. Until then, he was just another rich guy trying to get richer by exploiting the insane consumerism that plagues our society. Or so I thought.
I just read the blog by Noman Ansari, “Heroes Die, Legends Live Forever“. While I believe everyone has a right to their opinion, yet people’s comments left me a little confused, even a bit angry. They can’t understand what made Jobs a hero, nay, a legend. Was it because he invented the ‘mouse’, several ‘fonts’, the Macbook, iPhone, iPad, and made us all lament our poverty and lack of ‘coolness’? Not at all! The only Apple product I own is an iPhone and I honestly prefer a Nokia 1200 to it – being a mother to a toddler, the torch is really more useful then having a Facebook app. No matter what words I choose, I don’t think I’ll be able to do justice to what Jobs stood for, so I am going to let the following quotes and video do the talking.
“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.”
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.”
“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
Rest in Peace, Steve. You have left young entrepreneurs like me with amazing inspiration and valuable lessons. You are a hero, and a legend, and you’ll be in our memories forever.
Those who receive my FB feed know I have posted it twice there. I have shared it on private IMs with about 5 people since yesterday, and recommended to about a half dozen via texts. But I love this poem for its simplicity. I think I am going to print it and carry it around and look at it every time the world gets a little too much.
To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)