"Things don't have to change the world to be important." -Steve Jobs, Wired, 1996
Over the past few days, I've thought about the notion of changing the world, having significance, and of simply creating rather than repeating. All of these thoughts were prompted by the death of Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, and perhaps one of the greatest minds of our time. A man who's body of work changed the world. His creativity, genius, resiliency, and ultimately, his death, have had an impact on me-- me with my iPod, iPhone, and iPad. And it isn't just his technology that impacted me, but his vision, persistence, and perspective.I guess one can say that anybody can create. Anyone can write a book, or run a marathon, or drive cross country. The difference between those who do and those who say they can lies in the doing. I really believe that only with vision, persistence and perspective can anything ever be achieved--but its the doing that gets them done. Steve Jobs brought it home and showed us what it looks like when you live your life without giving up, without resting, and how to live up to your full potential.
When he was fired by Apple--his own company--in 1985, he could have simply retired. Instead, he bought Pixar studios and in ten years produced Toy Story, the first fully animated feature film created solely on computers. Then he came back to Apple and created genius products that have become the gold standard in design and functionality for technology today.
I've been thinking about this. About the quitting part, especially. What if Jobs had never worked again after being fired by Apple in 1985? The world would look different today. His ideas would have stayed with him. Instead, he did things. He didn't talk about creating, daydream, or wish. He turned those visions into reality.
So I guess we really don't know if the work we do now will bear fruit. We can't predict whether our works-in-progress will be failures or successes. We don't know if training for a marathon means we will actually complete one. But I think in striving to create and succeed, we are already halfway there. I don't want to die wondering what my life would have looked like if I hadn't quit writing. Hopefully, I won't have to.