I am one of thousands and thousands and thousands of people who are remembering Steve Jobs. I am one of many who are either blogging or posting their thoughts about Steve Jobs…on what he created, how he lived his life and what he has left the world.
He has been called a modern day Thomas Edison….the Henry Ford of our time, the greatest CEO ever; I am sure the accolades and comparisons will be coming in for some time.
There is no doubt that he was instrumental in shaping the way we live our lives. His vision re-shaped several industries (music and computers). He enabled us to live our lives more efficiently. His creative genius affected thousands of companies who have been able to develop their own products and technologies to help the world become a better place…be it through culture, science or health.
But, Steve Jobs was a human being. Like the rest of us, he had a head, a set of eyes, arms, legs..feet…he had a receding hair line….a greying beard. He had a wife and children who no doubt loved him….he was their daddy.
He also had cancer and despite his creative genius and vision…the cancer showed the world that he was just a person. Even though he shaped the way in which we live our lives…the cancer stole his life.
Many people who are remembering him are quoting phrases he spoke when he gave an address at a Stanford University graduation ceremony back in 2005. In it, he shared three stories, which seemed to talk about the values that he tried to his life by.
The story that resonated the most for me, talked about his initial brush with death when he was originally diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. After being told that his cancer was inoperable and that he would have a shortened time to live, he was encouraged to get his life in order and say his goodbyes to his loved ones.
Only after another test was conducted did the doctors realize that the kind of pancreatic cancer he had was actually treatable with surgery and chemotherapy and radiation.
While the surgery was successful, it’s success only bought him a few more years…but when you are told that you have months to live….any prognosis is better.
I am not certain if this brush with death was his own signal about the importance he placed on living each day as if it was your last or if that belief was built into his soul earlier in his life. I guess we will never know for sure.
What I am taking away from the loss of Steve Jobs is not so much what he created, his vision or even the amount of money he was able to amass as a result of his success (alot of good all that money did…he was 56 and has left 4 kids without a father).
I am taking away the importance of following your heart, aspiring to not waste a single moment of every day that we are given and that no one on the face of the earth is any better or more special than anyone else. I know that because we all have one fundamental common link to one another…we are all going to die. Some of us are cheated out of a long life due to illness (Steve Jobs was way too young)…some of us will die unexpectedly due to injury or accident….but part of the living process includes dying.
Knowing that none of us can live forever, should be a reminder that all we can really do is take advantage of each day; live it as fully as possible and never worry about what happened or what’s coming because no one knows for sure what is coming and what has happened can never be undone.
Steve Jobs did more than leave us with tools to enrich our lives. He also reminded us, through his words (not his products), about the real meaning of life.