Be Like Steve

by Bill Henderson

Steve Jobs with iPhone4Steve Jobs was a busy guy. Then he heard the hellhound on his trail…and he got even busier.

For those of us who speculate endlessly about why we can’t find the time to write or can’t get that novel finished (and frankly, I have to include myself), the message is starkly simple: just shut up and get busy.

Worried that people will think you’re selfish? Redefine that as “guided by priorities.” Afraid you’re going to get it wrong? Getting it wrong is one step closer to getting it right––a particularly apt message, with Nanowrimo just over the near horizon. Be like Steve. Just do it.

Jobs laid it out in his Stanford commencement address: once he had been face-to-face with death, then reprieved, productivity became his given. He had seen what loomed ahead for him––for all of us––and the result was a logarithmic leap in the pace of his creativity. Remember: from iPod to iPad, that astounding run of new Apple product introductions was jammed into a 9-year period. It was driven totally and personally by Steve Jobs. Already a famously inventive guy, he became an absolute Godzilla of creativity and achievement.

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me,” he told the Wall Street Journal in 1993. “Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.” ––Wall Street Journal, 1993

He took the ideas of “the future” that people dreamed about in the 70′s and 80′s and made it happen. Think about it, we’re in the future. ––Comment, Yahoo Answers

Obviously, we’re not all going to change the world, as Steve Jobs did. But we can change OUR world by incorporating into our own creative lives the kind of move-it-forward attitude that dominated Steve Jobs’ final years. I don’t think it’s news that, whether we’re 25 or 65, our time here is limited. But for most of us, it remains a concept, one that we pay scant attention to in our daily lives. For Jobs it had forced itself on him as a daily reality, and look at the result.

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