The Passing of an Icon

One man who changed the way we interact with the world

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. — Steve Jobs

 

Today marks Day One without Steve Jobs.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of reading the commencement speech Mr. Jobs delivered to the 2005 graduating class of Stanford University. As a loyal Apple User (got my first Mac in ’85 and never looked back), I had always admired Mr. Jobs for his vision, his sheer determination, and his exacting personality. But I had no idea he was a man of such wisdom until I read this speech.

His “Think Different” ad campaign of 1997 pretty well describes the passing of this icon of modern consciousness. Many of you may not know this, but Mr. Jobs never graduated from college. His early years were not “easy”. He was not a pampered kid from a wealthy family. He worked unrelentingly to communicate his message and make his vision a reality in the world. Despite setbacks, being fired from Apple, starting another company which got bought by Apple, miserable stock prices and pitiful public perception for years… Mr. Jobs got his company back on track. Recently, it’s been reported that Apple has more money than the U.S. Treasury. Not bad for a “college drop-out”.

While he was at it, he created one of the most successful animation companies in history with 6 Academy Awards and 2 nominations for Best Animated Feature during a 10-year stretch.

So, what was his “trick”? Sure, he was a brilliant man of vision… but he also had tremendous will power, an exacting nature, and he lived by the maxim “Think Different”. He never stopped following his heart.

Let’s honor his memory, his words, and most importantly, his actions by making our own contributions to the greater whole. It’s time we all thought different about what one person can do.

We will miss you Steve… thanks for the inspiration, the vision, and the reality.

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.– Steve Jobs

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