I just finished reading a book by Karen Blumenthal entitled Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different. Having used Apple products since my first foray into publishing 20 years ago, I consider myself an avid Mac fan, but until I read Blumenthal's book, I didn’t know much about the man behind the machine.
One thing that struck me about Jobs was his individuality. Apparently he was as much a tyrant as he was a charming innovator. He was often found walking (and working) barefoot and didn’t like following rules. But that didn’t stop him becoming a business icon for a generation (or three).
I like him.
I also want to be like him in that I want to operate under my own set of rules. Always have. Even Jobs himself said during his final year that he didn’t want future Apple employees to try and think what he would do, he wanted them to think for themselves. What great advice.
Another thing that struck me while reading the book was how it raised some fears about my own millionaire dreams. I don’t have a product (like the Mac) that could earn me millions – I just have Me. But that's when I realised – that's all Steve Jobs ever had. The thing that made him the success he was, was the fact that he never once gave up his dreams, his visions or his ability to know something was possible even when it didn’t exist – and even when other people said he was mad. He was a visionary. And so am I.
My vision is World Peace and Global Harmony. My dream is to live in a world where Love is the prevailing emotion and where hatred, racism and violence no longer exist. Unlike Jobs, I don’t have a friend who's a tech genius who can create my dream for me. But, like Jobs, I do have thoughts, words and actions that are within my control, and I guess they are my technology in this case.
Just like the common cold, I believe our emotional state is contagious, and I'm going to choose to be as open, honest, loving and kind as I possibly can this year and hope that it becomes an epidemic, eventually leading to World Peace. Wouldn't it be great if we all catch love and happiness off each other, rather than the flu? Apparently Jobs had a contagious “reality distortion field” that caused people to become sucked in by his passion and ideas and would end up believing everything he said… Until he left the room and their own version of reality took centre stage again. Reading about Jobs reminds me of the old saying; “Do you need to see it to believe it, or do you need to believe it before you can see it.” I would say Steve Jobs believed the latter, and so do I.
And so as I enter this brand new year, having read about an incredibly inspiring man who made great gains on an individual and a global scale, I believe in a new future that involves a contagion of Peace. I envision a world where people think for themselves like Jobs did. A place where we don’t need to be forced to follow rules because we've already learned how to communicate in such a way that “understanding” is the new technology. And it doesn’t require anything more complex than the hard drive we’re born with – namely our thoughts.
When Peace and Harmony prevail I'm pretty sure we'll also believe We Are All One. And if We Are All One then being unkind or hurtful to others is actually hurting and harming ourselves. And who'd want to do that? I know it may seem naive but I believe this dream is possible, and, based on my understanding of the world, that means it is, even if it means changing some of my old beliefs and habits.
I started blasting some very old beliefs toward the end of 2012: I broke down everything I thought I knew, including how to earn money and how to pay my way (both literally and figuratively). With that education now under my belt, I know that anything is possible. By stretching my own boundaries to the point of poverty and reaching a place where I had to ask my mum to cover my rent for a month (true story!) I broke through into a new world, and I did it by being True To Myself.
Isn't that the same method Jobs used to create the Apple phenomenon?
I could easily have avoided some of last year’s “pitfalls” by doing things the way I’d always done them: harbouring fear and keeping financial and career security uppermost in my mind. But I didn’t. I chose instead to break the mould and do things My Way: with faith in the Divine and following a gut instinct that tells me my dreams are entirely possible and everything is always going to be alright.
Amazingly, everything has turned out alright. In fact it's turned out better than I could have ever imagined.
With that thought in mind, and to quote my new latest hero, Steve Jobs (RIP);
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life… And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
Hmm, World Peace it is then…