As I sat in the theater, honing in on Ashton Kutcher, I thought, “Wow, Steve Jobs was Kelso when he was younger.” All jokes aside, the film led me to my own iMac where I now find myself typing this, hopefully inspirational, article of what I learned from Steve Jobs. Although the film may have been a shade of the true story of events, it did offer some meaningful food for thought.
1. Be creative
Don’t get caught in the mundane, the routine, the ordinary, a world without colour. Be creative. Take pen to pad, paint brush to canvas, camera to landscape. To be creative can be without purpose; it’s a chance to be imaginative. It’s an opportunity that allows you to express yourself or even find yourself. Creative thinking is what sets you apart, its what distinguishes you as a person. Creativity doesn’t necessarily have to inspire ingenious, but the amazing thing is that it can. Think outside the box; don’t find yourself trapped within it.
2. Don’t settle for “content”
The word “content” is one I loathe. Why? The dictionary defines “content” as “quietly satisfied and happy”. To merely be content in life seems so dismal; in essence, it’s settling, the white flag of acceptance. Life has so much to offer, so why make do, why not push forward? As Ms. Frizzle would say, “Take chances, make mistakes and get messy”. The amazing thing about our lives is that we have such a powerful gift that many of us take for granted. This gift: choices. You have the power to choose the life you want to live. Jobs believed that life is what you make of it; you don’t have to be content with life, you can change it:
“Shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just going to live in it.”
– Steve Jobs
3. Take risks
We all have our safety blankets, our comfort zones and rules to live by. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. I’ve always wanted to teach abroad but have always been too scared to pack my bags and actually do it. I guess you could say I don’t practice what I preach. Luckily, this article is on what Jobs preached and taking risks is certainly one of them. Jobs believed that it was the people who took action and who did things that stood out from those that merely dreamed of doing things. Creations like the iPod attest to this truth. You will never know what the world has to offer, or what you have to offer the world, if you don’t take risks in life. You can’t become successful without risking failure.
4. The importance of having a vision
Steve Jobs was known for being a visionary. His vision for Apple was what allowed it to be different, to be cool. Jobs’ vision consisted of the simple things, the details and the ability to create something unforgettable. Now, most of us may not be building the next iMac in our garage, but the idea of having a vision can still apply to each of us. Having a vision is like having a goal. Set goals for yourself with every aspect of your life. Decide what type of person you want to be and what type of life you want to live. Most importantly, stick by your vision. Don’t be persuaded when conformity knocks at your door, or your company is on the brink of bankruptcy. As we saw with Apple, a company cannot be successful without a vision, and neither can we.
Sure, Steve Jobs may have been an asshole but he certainly inspired a generation to go beyond the ordinary to create the unimaginable. If there is anything that I have learned from Jobs, and that you can in turn learn from me, “Don’t just live a life, build one.”