What I Have Learned from Steve Jobs
I have confession to make. Until his death, I had no idea who Steve Jobs was. For whatever reason I never came across his name in an article or anything and if I did I must have just glanced over it.
Upon his death on October 5, 2011 the internet was flooded with information and quotes from this man. It was all over my Facebook and I ended up posting some quotes by him and taking a step back to analyze some things in my life.
Follow Your Heart and Intuition
The first quote that I stumbled upon was highly enlightening for me. Especially now because I just turned 24 years old and I'm trying to get my foot into the door of the big bad world of music. I came very close to quitting my college education to pursue my dream of being a songwriter, composer, and musician but instead I decided to transfer schools and leave a very beautiful relationship. And although there are opportunities for me in Murfreesboro, TN (one of them being I am closer to Nashville) I can't help but think that all of my life I have been listening to advice given by other people. Some of that advice has lead me to great places and great experiences...but others have been a sort of "School of Hard Knocks" and I knew it was not what I truly wanted to do. What is beautiful about all of my decisions is that I am learning from them and they are helping to shape a "new" me. I want to be a confident and strong individual and stand up for my convictions.
"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."
The past year I have had the feeling that even though I really do know what I want in life, the honest truth is at times I was too afraid to go for it. Thankfully, I have taken some very big steps in the right direction and so I am going to applaud myself for doing that.
Change and Do What is Truly Important
I like to compare life to a journey. Things constantly change and so do the paths you take. I ask myself frequently questions such as these:
- "Am I doing what I love to do?"
- "Am I happy with myself?"
- "Why am I sad and how can I change that?"
- "Am I being true to myself?"
I find it is good to take a breather. And by that I mean stop whatever I am doing, go to my room, lye on the floor, close my eyes, and tune into myself. Relax and breathe. Take the time I need, get up, and create a new plan of action.
From the little I know of Steve Jobs I feel like we have a lot of the same thoughts and ideas:
"For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something… 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."
This is advice to live by. I don't think about death very often but I suppose that if I did die today I would want to be doing something that I love. I love writing music. It is my passion, but I also love people - my family and friends and the Earth around me. One of the things I enjoyed about my childhood and teen years was all of the opportunities for service that I had, and so after a few weeks in my new environment here in Murfreesboro, TN I decided to return to my service oriented self. I started my first personal recycling program (something I have wanted to do for a long time) and I joined an on campus organization that promotes equality for the LGBT community as well as other minorities.
I have decided to venture into some new territory that I have never been before and I think that great things are in store for me. Steve Jobs was a man who did some extraordinary things with his life and I have always been under the impression that anyone can do anything that they set their mind to do. All it takes is a leap of faith and a step in the right direction.