Lately I’ve been getting quite astute to mortality and this thing we call life. It’s as if all the things I’ve heard and read in the years prior are all of a sudden becoming clearer to me and make sense. They aren’t just ideals any longer; they are actually impacting how I view life.
“Life is not a dress rehearsal.” That seems to ring more true to me now and I’ve fully embraced it. I’m more aware now that life isn’t something we get to do over. We don’t all reach the age of 50 and upon reflection are allowed to go back to a year and start again. This is it. This is life. We know how it begins and how it ends. It’s the stuff in the middle we’re all trying to figure out.
I’d be lying if I said Steve Jobs didn’t affect me. But not just the visionary genius he was, and his mark on the world with Apple, but the shear fact he died way too young. Here’s a guy with obscene money, much more than the majority of the world could ever imagine. And he died. He could have afforded any medical procedure on the planet, and if given the time I am sure he could have created some medical technology that doesn’t even exist yet that would end up curing him. But unfortunately all of that is a mute point. The passing of Steve Jobs taught me above everything else, health is most important. You can have all the money in the world, but often times that isn’t enough.
Sort of changes your outlook on what's important in life. The one with the most money doesn't win at the end.
When I travel for work, I enjoy sitting at the bar when eating meals as it allows me to interact with the bartender and get the “locals only” insight into the city. Sitting at the bar inevitably means I’ll be answering the “Where are you traveling from?” question. When I tell them New York City, I see a noticeable gleam in their eye. My answer is always followed by one of two statements from them: they tell me about the time they visited New York and how much they loved it, or they tell me how much they want to visit. The latter of the two always gets me thinking. On my last business trip, the bartender told me he and his wife had been saving for a New York City trip. For years. A trip to New York City was something he and his wife really wanted to experience and put on their bucket list. It was something they wanted to do before they died.
And I live in New York City.
Going to New York City has been on this guy’s mind for years. I wake up every day (when not traveling) in New York. Too many people take things for granted.
I saw this on Twitter yesterday and it fit nicely:
Guest Post: Anne Aretz // @aaretz
…the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
– Steve Jobs, 2005
This is my favorite quote from Steve Jobs; it has always stuck with me and I still have the copy that I printed, cut out and stuck in every journal/sketchbook I’ve had since. As I got older though, every time I looked at the rumpled, coffee-stained and slightly doodled on piece of paper, I thought of my brother Alex.
Alex did everything on his own terms, all in the pursuit of what he loved to do. He went from college to boat captain, to waiter, to bike messenger and a few places in between before starting Taza Chocolate. As a man with a degree in Anthropology from Vassar, the path to a chocolate maker was not exactly a straight one, but he just followed what he loved and eventually landed on his passion. As I get older and become closer to my brother, I appreciate more and more his life philosophy, learn from it and am inspired to bring that into my life everyday.
Jobs’ last line, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life” pretty much epitomizes Alex and what he has always told me when I panic about meeting expectations and not disappointing people (we all have those moments). He always told me to live my own life and do what makes me happy, but my generation (apparently I’m an ‘Older Millennial’) heard those words a lot, but Alex said those words and lived them, which is just plain brave.
Guest Post: Stephen Riley // @stephenriley
A lot of things inspire me; an important part of being creative is being interested in the world around you.But one inspiration really stood out for me today - the (too few) leaders who truly put design first, in the face of tremendous risk. And this is not just aesthetic design, this is total experience, crafted to feel a certain way. Not how something looks, but how it feels. Naturally Jobs came to mind as an icon of this inspiration; and what struck me about his resignation last week was the eulogy-like tweets,
as if he died. Normally, when someone quits, people fight over their stuff. But the tributes to Jobs were heartfelt and touching, something I've never quite seen before in this context. Why? Because he never compromised. He took huge risks. He failed sometimes but clearly learned from it. And the end result are a brand
and products that went to the heart. I was asked recently if I preferred PC or mac, and why I preferred mac. It was an easy answer, "because I like how it feels." It's like he took the individually-crafted deliciousness of a Specialtys cookie and turned it into a mass-produced Keebler cookie that everyone could access and enjoy. And that, to me, pretty much perfectly captures what the intent of design should be.
This is how I'd like to remember Steve Jobs (1955-2011)
(images via Buzzfeed)