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. – Steve Jobs
The white text on the black screen ended the video montage:
February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook posted a message following the video. Here is an excerpt:
Steve’s passing one year ago today was a sad and difficult time for all of us. I hope that today everyone will reflect on his extraordinary life and the many ways he made the world a better place.
One of the greatest gifts Steve gave to the world is Apple. No company has ever inspired such creativity or set such high standards for itself…
Gift to the World
While I appreciate my Mac and iPhone, the positive/negative effects of technology on our lives is not my topic. There are two things that caught my attention: Steve Job’s birth year: 1955 and the bold text: Remembering Steve.
On September 4, 1954 another Steve was born. The date after the dash (-) remains a mystery, but it is a given. And so this Steve began to wonder.
When my life, here on earth ends, what will my “Tim” write? One year later, how will “Tim” complete this sentence:
“One of the greatest gifts Steve gave to the world is _____________.”
Another View of Gift
Early this morning I sent a text message to our youngest daughter, Melanie, today is her birthday. Part of my message reads …
I love you and celebrate God’s creation of you…His gift of you to us, to our world.
Only a few will write an Apple Story — that is not the point.
You are a gift. You matter and our world needs you and your contribution.
The Business of Life is People
Your ability to see people will set you apart as a person of influence, a leader. This principle is the basis of meaningful personal relationships.
Business acumen and the ability to “do the job” are basic, but core skills (formerly “soft skills” – people skills) are what today’s workforce longs for and desperately needs.
Whether you seek effective partners to help grow your business or you lead a department as an employee all achievements of significance require people. The business of business is people, as well.
What do you want your “Tim” to say?
The reality of what your “Tim” will say is shaped by your purpose. How do you answer this simple question: “Why am I here?”
To make this exercise easier, think in terms of one of your “greatest gifts”. How do you want your “Tim” to finish the statement:
“One of the greatest gifts _____ gave to the world is _____.”
As I take this reflective exercise to heart it, this is my first draft:
September 4, 1954 – To be determined
One of the greatest gifts Steve gave the world is his commitment to relationships … with God, his family, and each person in the Story.
Now, if my “Tim” is to say this, my life must be guided by my purpose today. So I purpose to choose my actions and words so this can be said, when it’s all said and done.
What is important to you?
The Bible consistently challenges us to remember the brevity of life. The Psalmist writes: “Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.” (Psalm 144:4)
Perhaps another gift Steve Jobs provides is found in this complete statement:
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. – Steve Jobs
What is truly important to you?
Do they know?
When did you last tell him? What do you want to say to her, today?
What if you stop and say it … while there is still time?
THE PEOPLE PROJECT:
Your Guide to Changing Behavior and Growing Your Influence as a Leader