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Friday, October 7, 2011

The Hero I Never Knew I Had 9/30 - 10/7 Days 273 - 280

A few quick house keeping things before I get to the blog:

1.) Don't forget Ustream chat Sunday, October 9th, 7am PST. I am holding it early Sunday morning in hopes that more of our friends from around the world will be able to join in.  My fellow PST members we all can get up early on our Sunday.  I look forward to chatting with you all on Sunday.

2.) The 1000 Challenge challenge of filling up the big list of sunrises and sunsets is going strong.  PLEASE PLEASE please only send in pictures that have not yet been crossed off on the list.  The reason being: again it is only me doing everything on this end.  Each picture takes time to update and update the list, so please help me manage my time and check the list first before you send in a picture.  The list can be found here: Sunrise/ Sunset master list

3.) I just wanted to say thank you for all of you who follow along.  Your support means the world to me.  An extra special thanks to those of you who are not only following along, but taking the concepts, ideas, and little life lessons I try to impart through the 1000 challenge and are putting them into practice in your own lives.  You all are truly a source of inspiration to me.  Thank you everyone!  I can never say that enough... Thank You THANK YOU! :)

I had a blog that was about 70% of the way done that I was planning on posting today, and then Steve Jobs died.

Yesterday, Thursday, I was really sick.  I NEVER get sick!  I think I must of had a migraine, I am not sure as I have never had one before, but I woke up with a pounding headache, and my eyes hurt so bad it felt like someone kept punching them.  I could not look at my phone, my computer, or read anything as the light from the monitors and text on a white background caused more pain.  As the morning went on I started to feel more and more nauseous until finally I started throwing up.  I have not thrown up since August of 2007, that is how rare I get sick, I can actually pinpoint dates!

One of my friends even said, "you are sick, but you do not get sick... what is going on?"  That's true, I don't.  I decided several years ago that I was going to abstain from the participation in illness.  Meaning that when the annual "oh my God, it is flu season" discussions started up I was not going to even begin to entertain the thought in my mind that I might get sick.  And when other people around me caught a cold, I decided I was no longer going to focus on "so and so is sick, I sure hope I do not get sick."  Which of course I always did get sick.  Instead, when so and so gets sick, I now focus on how healthy I am and how strong my immune system is.  Skeptics say I have just been "lucky."  I say it works, and even if I have just been lucky, what harm is there in trying??????

Anyways, somehow this migraine found a chink in my armor and was able to keep me down for most of the day yesterday.  With nothing to occupy my time other than my thoughts, I had a lot of time to think.  I found a great deal of my time was spent thinking about Steve Jobs; who he was and what is the legacy he left behind. I spoke with one of my friends about this last night, telling him I was having a real hard time with his death, and I did not know why.  My friend, who at times I refer to as my "Jedi apprentice" for his growing wisdom, responds with a very "Jedi-esq" ... "that's because he is a dreamer Jesse, just like you.  There are not a lot of you out there."  Wise words my young apprentice, wise words indeed.

I am a dreamer.  I dream big dreams for myself and I dream even bigger dreams for humanity as a whole.  The 1000 Challenge is a personal challenge I started for myself, I wanted to challenge myself to live life in a way I have always wanted.  To experience it to the absolute fullest.  What it is has grown into is something much beyond myself.  It has grown into an opportunity for me to not just teach, but to actually show people from all over the world what I think is possible for each and everyone of us in terms of living the life of our choosing.

I do not think any of us are meant to settle for a "well i guess this is as good as it gets life."  On the contrary, I think "to settle" is a bad phrase, one that should be eliminated from all of our vocabularies.  We are not meant to settle, we are meant to thrive, to live and soak up each and every precious second of life.  That is what I believe we are meant to do.

Sure we are going to have bad times and challenging times, but rather than let those times dictate our life, we instead use them to learn and grow and then use them to direct the course in life we choose.

I had and I still have not read a great deal about Steve Jobs.  Hence the title of this blog "The Hero I Never Knew I Had."  As my thoughts drifted more and more to what Steve represented to me, represented to the world, I started to realize just how much respect and admiration I have for this man.  As my friend so accurately stated it: He is ( I use "is" here deliberately as I believe legacies live beyond us and thus someone is never truly gone) a dreamer just like me.  And so from one dreamer to the other... I offer my obituary, my attempt of a tribute to Mr. Steve Jobs.

Apple co-founder, Pixar co-founder, entrepreneur, innovator, visionary, and dreamer Steve Jobs passed away quietly on the morning of Wednesday, October 5th, 2011, ending a long battle with Pancreatic Cancer.  When he passed, "He was surrounded by people he loved."

Steve was no different than you or I.  Born in 1955, he was given up for adoption and taken in by a family from a modest background.  After graduating high school he enrolled in college and quickly dropped out after just one semester, shunning the ideology that you NEEDED a college education to get ahead in life.

Instead, Steve began exploring, began dreaming... dreaming of the possibilities that man kind could create through technology.  Short on funds, he would often sleep on the floors of friends apartments, and recycle Coca Cola bottle's for money to buy food with.  In a situation like this, most people would begin to feel sorry for themselves.  Most would focus on how the world seemed like it is against them, how they just can't catch a break.  Steve was not most people, Steve had a dream.

By the time he was 25 years old he was worth over $100 million dollar's, having launched Apple into the forefront of the home computer industry.  By the time he was 30 years old, he was fired from the company he helped create.  Again, most would fault the world, fault other people; most would focus only on the situation, being fired from their job and now facing un-employment at the young age of 30, but not Steve.  Saying, " The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything.  It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life."  Where there is "perceived" failure, there is really opportunity.  And that's just what Steve did, he seized the opportunity to create.

And create he did: NeXT Computer and Pixar are just two of the more noteable creations that came during this time period.  NeXT software eventually became the software that powers the "I-Tunes" store, among many other applications.  And Pixar, well in case you have never heard of movies like the "Toy Story" franchise, "The Incredibles," and  "A Bug's Life," to name a few... those were all Pixar creations.

All of this lead to Jobs eventually being re-hired at Apple in 1996, 11 years after his dismissal.  What happened between that time and the present is well documented.  In fact, many of you are probably reading this blog on an innovation that came out during this time: "Ipod's," "Itunes," "Iphones," and "Ipads" are just a few of the highlights that have contributed to making Apple one of the most profitable companies of the modern era.  The technology that Apple created during this time period has changed our world and changed the way we interact with one another.  It's cutting edge innovation gave us all the above, but more importantly, it forced the competition to accelerate their innovation game.  By doing his best,  Steve forced others to do their best.

What would a great leader, a great visionary, a great dreamer's story be without adversity... in 2004 Steve faced the greatest test of adversity in his life, the diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer.  As fate would have it he had a rare form of Pancreatic Cancer that was operable and thus curable via surgery.  He had the surgery, and in a 2005 commencement speech to the graduating class of Stanford University, Jobs said: " 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."  We are all going to die one day...  don't wait until death is knocking on your door to start living.

It was in this same 2005 speech he also said, "sometimes in life, life is going to hit you in the head with a brick, don't lose faith..."You have got to find what you love..."the only way to do great work is to love what you do."  "If you haven't found it (what you love) yet, keep looking, DON'T settle!"

Don't settle... wise words to impart on a world that is all to quick to settle for second rate living.  Sure not all of us may not be CEO's of companies we co-founded, or multi-billionaires, but those two things do not equate to happiness.  Doing what you love, in any aspect of your life, that is what leads to happiness.  And if you are working at a job you may be less than fond of, make the best out of it.  Resolve to go in and give your best everyday... that knowledge leads to not necessarily a love of the job, but a love for the work you do.  Steve kept working at Apple until August of 2011, when he was finally to week to carry on his day to day duties.  Less than two months later he is dead.  Why stay and work, knowing that your days are rapidly coming to a close.  He certainly did not need the money.  And if he quit earlier, everyone around him would certainly understand the reason.  So why stay?  The answer: Steve loved what he did, and he wanted to continue to contribute, he wanted to continue changing the world until he was no longer capable of making the change at the level he wanted to.

And finally, from that same 2005 Stanford University commencement speech, Jobs said, "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life... Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary."

People are always going to talk, society is always going to have their opinions of what you "should" be doing. At the end of the day if that is not what feels right, if that is not what makes you happy, if that is not what makes you wake up in the morning wanting to Carpe Diem, then what is the point of it all?

Steve ate a flawless diet, he took care of himself, and he had all the access to the best medical treatment available, but in the end, this larger than life figure still died, just the same that all the rest of us one day will.  You see, as I began this obituary, Steve Jobs is no different than any of us.  He is a mortal, just like you and I.  What sets him apart, what causes us to morn his loss is that he gives us hope.  We see in him a quality which we all wish to indoctrinate into our own lives... we all wish to live our lives pursuing our passions... we all wish to live our lives giving and getting 100 percent out of each and everyday.  The only thing that stops us from doing this is our-self.

We are not all destined to be political head's of state, professional athletes, or CEO's of multi-billion dollar companies, but each and everyone of us was born with the capability of greatness.  This I think is Steve Jobs greatest legacy he leaves the world with today... we are all capable of greatness.  It is instilled inside each and everyone of us, and it is up to us to discover what that greatness is for us.  Greatness is there, it lies in a place deep inside of you... a spark that is just waiting to turn into a flame.  Only you can add fuel to the flame and cause it to burn brighter.  Only you can uncover, nurture, and live your greatness.  The power lies within YOU!

Thank you Steve for leading by example.  May the next generation of dreamers pick up where you left off.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,


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