The Lessons of Steve Jobs #1:
Living Life to the Fullest
Legendary Apple pioneer Steve Jobs passed away yesterday at the age of 56. I imagine that over the next few days there will be a ton of people writing about him, but I figured it was worth putting down a few words myself on the subject. When I first received word that Jobs had passed, I marked the time and where I was, because this was one of those deaths that felt like it had an impact larger than the deaths of Heath Ledger or Michael Jackson. Steve Jobs had such an effect on the world of technology that his loss will likely be felt for decades to come.
I think as creative people, it's important to remember how Jobs lived his life. After he was diagnosed with a rare pancreatic cancer in 2004, he was known as saying that he lived each day as it might be his last, but it certainly seems like he lived most of his days before that in that way as well. His name is on over 300 patents and aside from co-founding Apple, he also had a hand in creating Pixar, one of the most effective storytelling movie studios in history. His creativity and thirst for innovation led to creativity and innovation for many other individuals in the writing, graphic design, filmmaking and many other fields.
How did you live your day yesterday? Did you spend most of your moments on things that really mattered to you and the world? Was it more like 50 percent of your time? 10 percent? I realize that few people when they're starting out in the world are able to push that percentage much above 10 percent, but I think that like Jobs, we should have a goal to push ourselves to do something great, not just good, but great with our time. And while I realize that it's morbid to think about potentially dying tomorrow, we seem a lot more concerned about our DVR chopping off the last two minutes of our favorite TV show than we are about using our time to do something amazing.
I'm as guilty for wasting time as the next guy and maybe I'll never even approach 1 percent of the amazing stuff that Steve Jobs has done for our world. But I know that if I can make the effort to live every day like its my last as he did for close to the last decade of his life, I will be able to create much more lively and important pieces of work than I would have otherwise. Take the hint from Jobs, get off your butt and start taking steps toward your masterpiece.
Done with Steve Jobs? Go back to Personal Time Management.