An Amazing Quote from An Unusual Place

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, heart and intuition. They [your inner voice, heart and intuition] somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

~ Steve Jobs

Note: I share the following story not to convince anyone to switch to Macs. That is not my intent in any way. I share it to show that when you get really determined about something that you feel passionate about, and let the Universe direct you in the steps to follow to get to your dream, you can make it happen. Even if you aren't a Steve Jobs.


I have to admit to being a long-time Mac enthusiast. Since my first introduction to Macintosh, in 1987, I thought the machine was so amazing—variable fonts, a fantastic and fun WYSIWYG graphical interface, floppy drives instead of the bigger diskette drives, etc. For me, Mac was as much a toy as a tool. It took me a number of years to afford a Mac. It cost way too much but I found a way to get one. I have never regretted how much I spent, I loved learning what it could do.

Some years later, when I developed a reputation as a leader in the Technical Publications department where I worked, I took on the rather monumental task of converting the department from the company's strict textual computers to a network of Macs. I succeeded, but it wasn't an easy task, given what the business community thought of Macs at the time.

With the Macs implemented, we increased not only productivity (having switched from manual paste-up and hand-cut rubyliths to fully typeset, electronically delivered print-ready film), but the staff had the tools to be more innovative with our documentation designs, and significantly increased the 'fun factor' of working.

So over many years I developed enormous respect for Steve Jobs as not only an innovator, but as a man who could—who would—no matter what critism or cynism was being expressed in the world about his ideas, not give up. No matter what, Jobs has stuck with his vision. Sometimes that vision didn't work out due to concept or design flaw. More often it failed because the world at large wasn't ready to accept his ideas.

But through all those failures, or near failures, or perceived failures, the man has persisted. At one point he was fired from Apple, and during those years the company floundered. Innovation became nearly non-existent. At some point, through someone's infinite wisdom, or perhaps out of sheer desperation, the company brought Jobs back—to the company that he created. Since his return, products designed from new and innovative ideas have been literally flying out the door. For the most part, those products have been hugely successful.

So I always wondered, based on so much un-acceptance from the world in general, and business leaders in particular, covering a span of several decades, how could this man be so successful? What kept him going in the face of huge amounts of opposition to the products born of his love for, and knowledge of, technology?

When I found the quote above, it all became clear to me. He is a true example of the philosophy of following your heart, your own intuition, your own inspiration, no matter what the opposition, no matter how long it takes, no matter how many supposed failures you experience along the way. He was born with unusually strong convictions and an unusually strong determination to follow the tune of his own drummer. He never gave up on himself even when it seemed the whole world thought he was a fool and his ideas ludicrous.

If nothing else, Jobs shows us that each step we take, if we hold to our convictions, to our inner knowing that what we're doing is the right thing—for us—if we don't give up or give in to those who can't see our vision the way we can, eventually the world will catch up. Eventually we will manifest what are our truest and deepest convictions. It's not just having innovative ideas, it's backing those ideas up with absolute passion, determination and action.

We don't have to be born with the degree of awareness of our determination that Steve Jobs was. That determination exists in each of us. We were born with it, and we have access to it. Most of us are simply unaware that such determination is alive inside of us. All there is to do is become aware of what we are passionate about, and the determination to complete it will surface on it's own.

With that awareness opened up, all that's left to do is let no amount of nay-saying by others, and from our own egoic self, stop us. "I don't care what you think, I'm going to do this [thing that I am passionate about]" is a good mantra to follow, even—in fact, especially—when we're having internal dialogs with the 'doubting-Thomas' side of ourself.

*With love and thanks to Maja of the Smiling Soul for bringing this quote to my attention.

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