Today I think back to the time when I learned that the battle between Steve Jobs and his pancreatic cancer has come to an end. There was neither winner nor loser in this battle.
There was only loss…
A wife has lost a loving husband. The children have lost an inspiring father. The world has lost a great man whose life has touched, inspired and changed so many others. Or like a friend said:” The apple has lost its bite”.
He has contributed so much to the world, not only by changing the face of technology but also the spirit of entrepreneurship. Even though he has passed away, he is still the visionary he was born to be and left the world several great lessons to be passed on, to be learned and to be applied by each and every one of us.
I am not an Apple fan (even though I can’t survive a day without my iPhone). But I know for sure I am a Jobs’s fan (even though I have never met him in person).
Here are 5 life lessons Steve has indirectly taught me, not only in an entrepreneurial way but also every aspect of life.
I thought I will share it as a tribute to him.
1/ How you start is not as important as how you travel
When I wrote about Jobs’s journey in my post World’s Youngest founders who started the biggest companies, I was so touched and impressed to find out that Steve’s biological mother- a young unwedded graduate student decided to give him out for adoption long before he was born. He was to be adopted at birth by a lawyer couple, only to be rejected at last minutes because they simply wanted a girl. At such an early stage, he was rejected TWICE.
uh oh, not a smooth start.
Looking back, it was THE BEST start.
Has the lawyer couple adopted him and secured his path in completing college, would Steve Jobs have dropped out of college, learned all the things that interest him, done all the great things that he did? I don’t think so.
So, whenever I feel I like I start with several disadvantages in comparison to people in the same field, I look back at Steve Job’s start and instantly feel at ease. I know it’s not how you start, it’s how you travel that matters.
2/ HOW SOON you start is the important question.
Before turning 21, he has worked for both HP and Atari to learn of what these companies were doing, in order to differentiate his company. Steve has taught us that before becoming your own boss, you have to have a real boss first.
Youth is the gift everyone receives equally and Jobs has used his youth well. In that same previous post, I mentioned that Steve Jobs started Apple when he was 21. Starting Apple in his early 20s has enabled him to be in good shape, full of energy, fresh ideas, learn quickly and not yet restrained by a family or a career. By the time he turns 30, he has managed to transform a business with only 2 people from the garage into the Apple that everyone knows about with more than 4000 employees.
I know that starting young is not easy, in fact, there are several obstacles on the way. However, it is way better to start young, fail and restart than wait around, achieve nothing and regret not starting sooner. Plus Steve said: ”It’s wonderful to have a beginner’s mind”. What he means is having a beginner’s mind is like having a mind of a small child- full of curiosity, wonder, and amazement.
3/ Follow your heart
This sounds cliché, but I can’t find anything truer than this.
Jobs said” You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backward, so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future. You have to trust in something, life, destiny, karma, whatever… because believing the dot will somehow connect will give you the confidence to follow your heart even if it leads you off the well-worn path.’
This ‘too-cliché-belief’ has lead Jobs off the well-worn path to discover his own way to success. Don’t do things because it’s the right thing to do, do it because your heart tells you it’s the right thing to do, and don’t procrastinate. Never.
4/What did you give?
All his life, Steve Jobs is all about giving. Even in this matter, he prefers to do things his ways. He is not a prominent philanthropist. Despite owning a fortune of $8.3 billion, you can’t seem to find Steve’s name in any of charity’s book, hospital wing or academic building.
So what did he give? Instead of giving out the fish, he taught people how to fish. People say Jobs has been giving to charity anonymously all long. I like to think of him as someone who gave out to the world all his creativity, passion, youth, intelligence in order to ‘put a dent in the universe”-make an impact, do something that matters.
I read somewhere that what you give out remains forever. If Steve Jobs has not given out so much, would he perhaps be the most loveable billionaire in the world and his death be mourned by so many people? I think not.
5/ REMEMBER, YOU’LL BE DEAD SOON.
This quote is one of the most powerful ones I have ever learned. Not only because Steve Jobs just passed away, but also because of its trueness. Death is life’s greatest investment. No one has ever escaped it. This is sad but true. Our time is limited. Don’t waste it, start doing things that matter now.
I know that there is only one Steve Jobs, we can’t all drop out of college because he did, we can’t be given up for adoption because he was (not like anyone wants to, anyway). However, we can all learn from him and these lessons that he uses his life to teach us. I have learned a great deal from such a great man.
I’m sure you all have been touched by his being in some ways. Please do share with us your thoughts as a tribute to Steve Jobs- one of the world greatest visionaries,
May he rest in peace