The news of Steve Jobs’ death shocked the world on Wednesday evening. I think most people realized that his time was growing short when he stepped down as Apple’s CEO but much like NDP leader Jack Layton’s death earlier this year, it is still a bitter pill to swallow.
While I am a fan of Apple and it’s products, I must admit that I don’t know much about the man who is credited with revolutionizing the computer and digital product industry. Much of what I know has come from reading stories about him from the hundreds of posts I see lighting up the social media landscape.
I learned of the many things he accomplished within his too-short life and find myself making unfair comparisons between what I’ve done and what he had done by the time he was my age. I saw a man that by the age of 30 was being canned from a multi-billion dollar company he helped build and was moving onto his next venture.
A friend then pointed out that we shouldn’t belittle our own personal achievements just because of what others have done. She is absolutely right. It is not Steve Jobs’ success that we should be striving for, it is the manner in which he lived his life that we should emulate.
Beyond the accomplishments and accolades, I have learned about Steve’s strong ideals, his deep passion, his work ethic, and his tireless perseverance. These are characteristics we can all adopt in an effort to make ourselves into better people. When we are able to look beyond the “what” of Steve Jobs’ remarkable life and focus on the “how” and the “why”, we will see the true legacy he leaves behind.
Thank you Steve for your gifts to the world and for inspiring us not only to think different but to think better as well.