Iam currently reading ‘Steve Jobs’ by Walter Isaacson, and completely glued to it. There are many incidents which spark a chain of (positive) thoughts in different directions. Anyways, don’t worry. I won’t be elucidating the nitty-gritty of the book in this article. Nor Iam going to speak about Steve Jobs and his legendary work. I leave it up-to you to get a hold of the book and see it for yourself. The main reason why I got inspired to write this post was to raise a simple question. “What does it takes to become a legend like Steve”
In one of the chapters in the book, Steve Jobs after addressing Stanford University students makes an observation that “the new generation of kids has become more materialistic & careerist than his generation. He says that there was a wave of practical purposefulness which was present but now students aren’t thinking in idealistic terms or nowhere near it.” Now, how is this statement related to the title of this article?
It’s my personal belief that to do great things in life, one has to be great himself; in the sense, great in terms of thought, attitude and value system. And why do I say that? Steve Jobs life has many instances where his actions were guided by certain maxims, by his belief systems, strive for perfection and his passion for creating WOW products. There were few situations where in he did it just to get an experience and in the process somehow connected the dots and made use of the opportunity which presented before him.
Unfortunately, many of today’s youngsters are motivated by job titles, compensation, perks etc rather than the most important thing which is required at-least a Passion for the work being done. Iam not saying that everyone has such mindset. Some of my good friends are passionate about what they do, and that’s why they do what they do. And it mighty feels good to see them working on their passion. But my concern is the vast majority of the student population who are getting into jobs just to make a living.
The need of the hour is people recognize that there is innate potential waiting to be tapped in them and it’s better to do what they like doing. If 5-10 people passionate people can make a difference, imagine the difference 5K-10K people can make?
I would say the following 3 traits is required to create and do great things. [Of course, other traits like hard working, perseverance, patience, humility, visionary etc else is needed. But the below highlights the few MUST criteria’s to be able to succeed]
a) Open attitude to experience
b) WHY & not WHAT
c) Strive for perfection
One with an open attitude to embrace life in its fullest will experience uncertainty & risk. While it brings a whole set of good and bad things in to your life, understanding and learning from the up’s and down moments will help us wade through uncertain times & succeed later.
Many times in our life, we are motivated by ‘WHAT’. What will I get if I do this? What’s in it for me etc etc. but we forgot that to become truly successful in anything we do, what matter is not the WHAT but WHY. ‘Why should I do it’, Instead of asking ‘What is in it for me’ ask – “Why is this for me”. If you can come up with a good answer for that, there will be no doubt about the outcome of your work.
Man’s search for perfection lends a meaning to his life. Otherwise, routine life brings with it routine job which is just ROUTINE. Strive for perfection in any work you do. That’s what Martin Luther King Jr famously said “Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”
To sum up, the tenet on which I raised the question ‘Is it impossible for another Steve Jobs to be born in this world?’ is based on the state of mindset of current generation on pursuing materialistic things which are transient. But if we realize that and start exploring things, begin doings thing we love or love what we do (which holds true either way) & a focus on doing things perfectly as much as possible, all the traits which were one of the prime reason for Steve Jobs to be an iconic legend, will be applicable for others too. I firmly believe that each of us can make a dent in the universe too.
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish :)