I’m an Apple fan. Call me a fanboy. Accuse me of drinking Kool-Aid, despite my vice for diet soda. What I love about Apple was Steve Jobs’ philosophy on life, summarized well in 2005 Stanford commencement address. Many Apple centric sites are writing articles about the man who died only a year ago, his legacy, how he changed the world. But I’d like to talk about his autobiography and what a sheep is. Many non-Apple fans call us sheep.
Sheep – a four-legged animal covered in wool.
I’ve never seen a sheep use an Apple product. Though, I have not seen every sheep in the world.
An article in Wired discussed whether the autobiography Walter Isaacson wrote on Steve Jobs could be used as a path to success and management.
I had bought the audio book, unabridged version, from audible.com. As I listened, my ego started to make links between the ways Jobs did things to how I did things. I think we all do this, try to make comparisons with great men and women to assure ourselves that we are somehow on the right path. I stopped myself and knew. I am no Steve Jobs. And no one else is either. I think of a boy in Uganda and know that no other boy in the world will be like that boy. As human beings, we are all different, individuals. That is our biggest strength as a species.
There’s an app called iTunes U. Basically, it has courses that you can take, a lot of it is free. There’s a section called Creative Writing: A Master Class. There are 10-15 minute snippets of audio/video from famous writers. I’d listened to Michael Crichton, John Irving, Khaled Hosseini. But the one that caught my ear was Sue Grafton, author of best selling mystery novels like “A” IS FOR ALIBI. She said about writing, “There is no path. There is no course you can take. It’s not gonna help if you go to an Ivy League school. It might not hurt you, but it’s not gonna do you any good.”
Now, I’m not playing down education. I certainly don’t want a dude off the street operating on me. But when it comes to paths to success, we rarely know how to get there. I think the important thing is to know where you are, the starting point, and where you want to end up. That way you’ll have a better idea of where you wanna go. Two points make a line, right? Math. It’s an Asian thang. But if you don’t know where you are, how can you know which direction to head? If you don’t know where you want to end up, then are you even asking the question? For most people, no.
After finishing Jobs’ autobiography, my take was success in any form has no prescription. There isn’t a right way nor a wrong way. Sometimes the wrong way will teach us lessons the right way can’t. But going the wrong way all the time won’t get us to where we want to be. If you want to follow Jobs’ path, then listen to your intuition. For that path is unique to you.