"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."
~ Steve Jobs
"The man of genius inspires us with a boundless confidence in our own powers."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
As I sit here staring at my Mac computer to which my Mac iPhone and Mac iPad are docked, I find myself feeling extraordinarily connected to the man who created the company. The company which created these devices, which are now available to me and the rest of the world. Steve Jobs passing has affected me in a deep way. This man has reminded me of how important it is to stay anchored in my own authentic power, and to stay connected to what is real and important by staying true to myself.
Many in the media are referring to Jobs as a creative genius. There can be no question that he had the ability to tap into a creative flow of ideas that were indeed genius. Many also credit Jobs' monumental success with Apple to his being a rebel of sorts. I suppose that is because he was willing to color way outside the lines of the "norm" and go where the "herd mentality" has traditionally feared to tread -- on the road less traveled. Perhaps there is a link between one thinking for themselves in such a fiercely independent manner and their ability to access the creative genius that lies within their being waiting to be called forward.
I wonder how many people spend their lives living someone else's idea of what their life should be because it is easier, and perhaps safer. It is easier to follow the well trodden path of least resistance rather than forge ahead into new and uncharted territory, creating ones own unique path based on their own genius and original, innovative thinking. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." This is an admonition worth heeding, and yet being an original thinker in a copycat world is a risky thing to do.
Anytime we raise our heads above the trenches of common opinion, we put all of who we are directly in the line of fire of every critic and naysayer of individuality; but then again, that is where true leaders excel -- on the firing line of life. They know that new and innovative thinking can come only after they have stepped outside of the box of the known, where uncertainty reigns supreme.
It's safe to say that regardless of the direction our intuition and passion takes us, there will always be others who will tell us we are wrong. (That is what Apple did to Jobs when they fired him from his own company in May of 1985, only to rehire him as CEO in 1997 because the company was tanking.) It can be tempting to buy into the opinion of our critics because it feels good to be loved and approved of, especially when there is also financial security at stake. To set our course against the prevailing winds and follow our own inner compass requires tremendous faith and courage.
From a spiritual perspective -- irrespective of what other's opinion may be -- when we have the courage to follow the conviction of our heart and stay the course, there seems to arise from within an intuitive knowing of what to do and how to do it. Steve Jobs clearly had accessed his intuitive guidance. This aligned him with his own creative genius, which gave him the courage to rise above the din of his competitor's and critic's wagging tongues. He was a classy guy who left the planet a far better place than it was when he arrived here because he refused to be anyone other than who he came here to be.
May we all learn from Steve Jobs' willingness to be the authentic being he was, to seek our own uniqueness and live confidently, courageously and creatively from that sacred place of true authenticity. The take away for me is this: Your time really is limited because no one has tomorrow, so don't squander it by living up to (or in some cases down to) someone else's idea of who you should or shouldn't be.
If you have the courage to do so, following the North star of your own heart will lead you to your own creative genius -- to your own unique greatness. Steve Jobs was a true visionary and an independent thinker; he was not afraid to go where his heart led him. It's true, the man of genius can indeed inspire you with a boundless confidence in your own powers if you are willing to color outside the lines, take the road less traveled, listen to your intuitive guide and be who you have come here to be.