“I want to put a ding in the universe.” – Steve Jobs
My mother’s latest obsession is unceasingly playing the universal rage that is “Angry Birds” on her iPad. Though she maneuvers the gadget with incredulous dexterity she has very little clue of who is or who might have been Steve Jobs. I am sure there are thousands of similar others spanning the seven continents whose lives have been touched with an element of permanence by one or the other gadget from the stable of the ubiquitous Apple without having a clue about the legendary brain behind the innovations!
As the genius that is Steve Jobs leaves behind a saddened world and an immortal legacy, amidst glowing and deserved tributes it would be appropriate to introspect and just mull about a few invaluable tenets of life that the man has bestowed upon us all. I honestly feel that the following two fundamental concepts espoused by the star would go a long way in lending wings to many an aspiring individual and also act as a booster dose of the most powerful vitamin that is termed ‘motivation’:
Stare adversity in the face
Whether it be diagnosed with a terminal illness, or being ousted from the very company that he founded, Steve Jobs has been the epitome of courage, conviction and confidence. During the course of a glittering career, he has proved many times over that it need not only be the Phoenix that has the capability to rise from the Ashes. In spite of being beset with adversities he has always found a way out to “connect the dots”, to use a famous epithet of the great man himself. He has shown the world that the most vital ingredient that needs to be possessed by a human being to achieve what he aspires is the one called self-belief. Every cloud has a silver lining indeed. Post being shown the door by the very individual whom he hired to steer his company towards success, Jobs went on to be associated with Pixar Animation Studios, which was ultimately acquired by Disney. NeXT a computer platform development company was the next pit stop for innovation and in a remarkable quirk of fate when Apple decided to dance with NeXT, Steve was back where he belonged, and deservedly so!
Unfazed in the wake of sleeping on the floor in friends’ rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple, Jobs never lost focus on the purpose underlying his life and his very living. When on the 28th of August 28, 2008, Bloomberg mistakenly published a 2500-word obituary of Jobs in its corporate news service, containing blank spaces for his age and cause of death, Jobs regaled the attendees at Apple’s September 2008 Let’s Rock keynote by quoting Mark Twain: “Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Though the master finally lost his battle to the invidious foe termed cancer, he displayed his sheer grit, guts, gumption and indefatigable spirit till the very end. He was the living example of the words by William Ernest Henley in his memorable poem Invictus “In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud; Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed”.
Live your own life
This is one facet of Steve Jobs which has personally inspired me no end. As he was wont to say “and we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.” The choices that we wish to make would ultimately determine what we have done with life itself. One of the most famous quotes of Jobs which gives me horripilation every time I read it is “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.”
By practicing this simple philosophy to the core, Steve Jobs has indeed laid a veritable bait for many a budding innovator to bite into his or her own apple. For when one drowns out the extraneous voices and begins to listen to his own convictions, there is no obstacle that is insurmountable and there is no hurdle that is unavoidable.
On this day, the 5th of October, 2011, the innovator par excellence might no longer be with us. But the indomitable spirit and courage that he leaves behind as his lasting legacy will continue to remain with us forever. The greatest contribution of Steve Jobs to the world has not been his iPods; iPhones or the iPads, but a simple, strong and succinct belief adherence to which would ensure that the world is a dignified place to live. A belief comprising just two words: “i CAN”
Here was a man who literally put a ding in the Universe.
STEVE JOBS REST IN PEACE SIR!