Steve Jobs died yesterday. My heart is filled with sadness at the passing of a visionary leader that has impacted my life profoundly in the most recent years.
I am writing on a MacBook that I bought in August 2008. Before this laptop, I owned four PC laptops that lasted less than a year each. They lived short lives because I spilled water on the keyboards/left my front door unlocked and it was stolen/cracked the screen. I guess PC’s and I were just not meant to be.
A few months ago, I was feeling burnt out on life and I read this article posted on Jonathan Field’s blog: What Lucky People Do Differently, written by Erik Calonius. The article discussed how people that consider themselves “unlucky” in life are closed off to unexpected opportunities and surprises. They are so intent on certain paths and goals that they often miss the beautiful, organic journey that life can take; They are closed off to what might come their way because they are dead-set on what they want and nothing else.
The article goes on to highlight Jobs’ famous Stanford commencement speech in 2005, which I was not aware of at the time. Jobs recounts a time in his life when he dropped out of Reed College and spent a year exploring, sleeping on a friend’s floor, walking around campus and taking classes that felt interesting to him. He eventually took a calligraphy class that showed him the way different typefaces take up space- his eventual inspiration for the different fonts that would come out of Apple computers. If it was not for his ability to be “lucky,” listen to his soul and immerse himself in something that sparked him, Apple computers would not be the product they are today.
That article emblazoned my spirit and reminded me to live life with an open heart and arms- to welcome the nuances and quirks of life, even when everything seems uncertain and scary. Since then, I’ve watched Jobs’ commencement speech in full a few times to remind myself of this.
His vision and body of work will continue to play a part in my life. Thank you, Steve, for being an example of what it means to be fearless, audacious and bold. How lucky we are to see your legacy live on.
Rest in peace.