Recently I watched the movie “Jobs.”
Despite being an enthusiastic Apple customer (phone, laptop) I didn’t know much about Steve Jobs’ life. I remained blissfully ignorant during the startup phase, the hostile takeover, the reinstatement, and even the initial diagnosis of cancer.
In fact, it wasn’t until I watched the film that I realized how marvelously mentor-like Jobs is. Was. Our loss.
I watched the entire film wondering, “Is this a bunch of fabrications or the real story?” To find out, I requested the book by the same name by Walter Isaacson, only to discover upon its arrival that there are 571 pages in it. So I did what I always do with extra-long books I only thought I wanted to read – flipped through until I found the pictures section.
There was this one part of the movie that has stuck with me – when Jobs was sitting alone in a sound booth in front of a microphone, speaking. The words he spoke were so profound, so inspiring. Listening to him, I felt like less of a misfit for having such trouble fitting in….for feeling endlessly compelled to attempt to carve out niches for myself where none appear to exist – as if they exist only in my imagination (or perhaps my fantasy).
On the very page after all the photos ended I found the passage from the movie (it is on page 329 for those of you who also think 571 pages is a bit, er, ambitious):
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
The book tells us that this quote was a group effort – Jobs contributed as well as several others. It was the launching pad for Apple’s “Think Different” campaign, read by Richard Dreyfuss and featuring the likenesses of many of Jobs’ own mentors and heroes, including Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, John Lennon, Charlie Chaplin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Maria Callas, and Amelia Earhart, among others.
If I was creating my own mentors and heroes campaign, I would add Jobs to the list. Why? Because he SAW us – the ones who just can’t help but ask, “Why not?” or “How hard could it be?” Perhaps even more movingly, he didn’t see and judge, see and dismiss, see and expect. Many of us may fail at everything we do. But we continue to try. That is what I hear in his statement – recognition, acknowledgment, honor in the attempt, a legacy that we may start and others may finish or vice versa.
Most importantly, I hear that, unlike most of us (or at least me), he didn’t seem to question his place or his personality. He didn’t spend his precious creative energy trying to make the square holes work. He didn’t try not to make trouble or adjust his vision to align with the status quo.
In other words, Jobs didn’t doubt himself. I so often have. I so often still do. In this, I feel seen – understood – supported – by Jobs’ life and work in a way that I have by few others.
Today’s Takeaway: Have you see the Jobs movie or read the book? What was your impression/reaction? Did you identify with Jobs’ life story – why or why not?