Thursday, October 6, 2011
"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart." - Steve Jobs
Not once did I meet him, but Steve Jobs has touched my life in a way that many so-called icons and heroes of our time couldn't. I feel that God was gracious enough to put me on this planet at the same time as Steve. I was extremely lucky to witness the awesome presentations he gave, use the innovative products he dreamed up, and learn to really live a little from his inspirational way of perceiving life.
No words can describe what I really feel, and I can't believe he is really gone, but the legacy he created will never leave us. That's the most reassuring thing - that I'll always have a little bit of my hero with me every time I need to measure myself against someone truly great. He changed the world for the better, and it's always awe inspiring to realize that. We will all miss you Steve. Your impact on me has changed my life. Steve, I can't imagine life without your influence.
Last night, I learned about Steve's passing from a very close friend; a friend who equally holds Steve in a light brighter than most. A text read "Call me", and I did, knowing what we'd discuss. I was working on another project, and my concentration was blown. I opened up Safari to Apple's default start page. Three things I never thought I'd see were glowing on the screen in front of me. A large picture of Steve, his name, and below it, a set of years, "1955 - 2011", all in black and white. Ominously prominent, but very real.
I spent the evening looking up every major news outlet for articles about Steve. Some great, namely one by Walt Mossberg, and others very brief, but all of them had a common theme. A mythical titan of a man had left us, and no one again in creation will ever be able to step in to fill those New Balance shoes. I really thought hard about something; Steve Jobs lived for 56 years, each year seemingly more fulfilling than the last. Since the dawn of time, there has never been another Steve Jobs. Somehow, some way, I was given life at a time where I was able to watch him do what he did best. Innovate. I hope I can be an innovator someday.
"No one wants to die. Even people who wanna go to heaven don't wanna die to get there." - Steve Jobs
Think back to the scientific minds and philosophers you've read about in the history books. Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Isaac Newton all come to mind. Did you ever believe that you'd live to witness a man work who was equally as great, if not better than those minds? Steve Jobs belongs among those names so rightfully so, that already, you can open any book that relates to business in any way, and find some reference to Steve, Apple, or a product or industry they've created or changed. Some day, you'll be asked about this time, and you'll be able to talk about it because you were there.
This morning, when I woke up, I went for a drive. I came to a stretch of road between two towns where spreading fields surrounded you, and the road seemed to go on forever. I hoped in a way that it would, and that I wouldn't have to face reality for a while. A flock of geese flew overhead, and when I looked up, I noticed that there wasn't a single cloud in the clear blue sky. I didn't stop moving, but the world seemed to, if only for a moment, and I realized how lucky I am to have life in the face of death, especially here and now. Unfortunately, I had to turn off of that road, and I arrived at work, where I am a Network Administrator and Technician. I arrived at this job only because I was inspired years ago to get in to computers. I only got into computers because of Apple. In a way, I am where I am today because of Steve.
Two sets of dates will live forever in my mind; the 10 year period from 2001 to 2011. I remember where I was and what I was doing when the world lost Dale Earnhardt. An All-American hero in sports. I remember the shock of hearing that music legend Johnny Cash's house being burned to the ground. Now, I'll always remember the evening of October 5th, 2011, that I spent wide awake, reading and consuming everything I could about Steve Jobs. How I clung to the belief that I could somehow measure up one day. Maybe something I've done will mean something to someone, hopefully something I've said has helped somebody, and maybe what I just wrote made you realize that life is equally as fragile and precious for everyone.
Farewell Steve. You will truly be missed. You have touched my life, and endless others. I will always miss you.
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs
Posted by SkippyThorson at 3:03 PM