Strive to make your world a better place
Monday, 10 October, 2011On Thursday November 6, 2011 the world woke up to the news that one of the greatest people of our generation was no more.
That man was none other than Steve Jobs, the founder and former CEO of Apple Computers. Once in a while, there comes onto the world scene a man who truly and in a non-invasive and non violent way revolutionises the world. Without talking to us and without coercing us, but with the power of ideas and actions, Steve Jobs changed our life styles, the way we communicate with one another, the way we conduct business, and even our tastes for technology. He literally changed our lives without our permission and we all appreciated it and taught us that the key to enduring success is to make the world a better place for its inhabitants.
Strive to Leave the World A Better Place Than The One You Found
All of life is a stage and all men are players on this stage. We all make our entrances and we all have our exits, and in our life-time we play different roles. That was how William Shakespeare viewed life. We couldn't agree more with him. The immutable fact of life is that we all have an opportunity on a daily basis to enact a drama on the theatre of our lives, and we actually do produce that drama on an on- going basis. The dramas we produce by way of our daily actions determine what we achieve and the impact we have on the world. Although we do different things for a living, and meet different people and work in diverse places one thing should never be lost on us.
This one unifying denominator should be an implacable commitment to leave the world a better place than it was when we first encountered it. This is the enduring legacy that Steve Jobs's life leaves us. Jobs was the man who, with the help of others, invented the Macintosh computer, the iPod, the iPad, the iPhone, the iTunes - from the personal computer to the latest technology gadgets he was deeply involved in one way or another in their invention and their improvement. The success of the whole computer industry and the technology industry is to a no small extent a product Jobs and Bill Gates's wizardry. When Jobs was born there were no personal computers in the world, and at his death the world cannot do without them. None can contest that Steve Jobs left the world a much better place than he found it.
In our own small ways we can change the world. Every day when you get to your office or your workplace or your home - your own theatre and your own stage, you will find it in a certain condition physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually. Every day when you depart the office, you also leave it in a certain condition. The question we wish to pose is - do you leave your theatres much better places than when you entered them. The goal of every politician should be to leave our politics in a much better shape. The goal of every educator should be to leave the students much better off than before their paths crossed. The goal of every speaker and every preacher should be to leave his audience up lifted and edified. The ultimate goal of each one of us should be to strive to leave the people we meet and the places our feet tread and the worlds we inhabit in much better conditions.
Come To Terms With Your Mortality
In an address to graduates at Stanford University on June 12, 2005, Steve Jobs told the audience about the one thing that shaped his perspective in life. In his own words he said, "When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: 'If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right.' It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."
We all need to come to terms with the fact that we are mere mortals and one day we will die, and when that day comes we will all realise that after all life was not a popularity contest. We are all born to do something and become something, but we can never achieve it if all we do is to pander to the whims of other people and seek their permission to fulfil our God given potentials and missions.
Stay Hungry! Stay Foolish!
Jobs concluded that same address by urging his audience to stay hungry and to stay foolish in their pursuit of their goals. Why foolishness? Sometimes our ambitions and pursuits may sound like foolishness to others, but it still remains our duty to strive for their actualisation. Why hungry? After every little achievement, there is a temptation to rest on the laurels, but it is only by continuing to reach out for more that true greatness is attained.
Whatever your hand finds to do; do it in such a way that you leave the world a better place. Whatever time you have left in your hands, use it in such a way that you leave the world a better place than it is today; for that above all else is true success.