What Steve Jobs Taught Me

In Creating Happiness, Recent Posts, Uncategorized by Barbara Jacoby

The legacy of Steve Jobs will long be remembered in the Apple brand for all of the wonderful products that he created that enhanced our lives and our communications with each other and the world.  However, there is so much more that Steve Jobs gave to all of us.  He taught us what life is really all about and how we can live it to its fullest regardless of what we have, who we are and what we want to do.  His own life is a testimony to this if we just stop and take a look.

He taught us what life is really all about and how we can live it to its fullest regardless of what we have, who we are and what we want to do.  His own life is a testimony to this if we just stop and take a look.

Steve Jobs was a most unique individual.  He was adopted as a child.  He dropped out of college.  He thought that he could build a business from his parents’ garage with the help of his childhood friend.  He was a millionaire by the age of 25.  He was fired from his own company.  He started over with a new company that ultimately allowed for him to own the greatest animation company that is known to date.  He was re-hired by his own company from which he was fired.  He created the greatest company that provides products that enhance our personal lives in communications and entertainment viewing.

If you look at what we believe are the guidelines to having success in business, he defied all of the traditional wisdom.  He became the poster child that proves that if you do what you love to do, you will succeed.  Because a person does not have a college education does not mean that they can’t accomplish whatever it is that they want to do.  I have always personally held that a college education means only one thing and that is that you have the ability to learn.  Of course, if you want to pursue certain careers such as being a medical doctor, you must pursue a certain educational path but most of us are not looking to be doctors, etc.

He created a fantastic company in Apple and was fired by his own company.  This, in and of itself, is rather mind-boggling to me.  But to know that after his firing, his company went downhill and they wanted him back 11 years later and he actually accepted is unbelievable.  I truly believe that most of us would have been so bitter if we had been fired from our own company and would have be so excited to see the company tank once we were gone.  Most of us would never consider going back under such circumstances.  For him, however, the love of his company and what he had accomplished and what he still wanted to accomplish far outweighed all of the emotional responses that would have taken over most of us.

This does not mean that if you are currently working a job that is not your passion that you can’t find ways to pursue your dreams while continuing in your current position.  You must always take great pride in the work that you are doing and in the knowledge that you are producing the very best product that you can.  In this way, this sense of pride allows for you to have the belief in yourself that you can find a way to pursue your dream and know that you can reach whatever goals you set for yourself.  Sometimes you may even discover that you can find a new way or path to reach that goal through your current work in a way that you would never have otherwise imagined.

I was also inspired by Steve Job’s decision to wear the same outfit every day.  This way he didn’t have to spend time and energy on deciding what to wear.  I don’t know about the rest of you but I know that this is often my biggest struggle of the day and when I think about it, I find it very sad that this should be the case.  How many times have I stressed over whether something looks “right”?  How many times have I changed multiple times?  How often do I think about it during the day and how I will change things out if it gets too hot or too cold?  I love the idea of a standard uniform-type outfit.  That way, if I want to add a touch of color or change out a piece, I can do so – or not.

Bottom line, Steve Jobs lived his life pursuing what he loved to do and he did it in his own way.  He loved his work but he treasured his family.  He never found it necessary to become a public figure by doing interviews or being shown in the company of the high-powered friends that he had.  And he had a true understanding of his own mortality that allowed for him to appreciate the life that he had and the ability to enjoy each and every day that he was given.  That same life is available to all of us if we choose to embrace it – at least that is what I learned from Steve Jobs!