As you’re well aware, Steve Jobs passed away yesterday. Regardless of one’s opinion of Apple products, one can’t deny the impact of Mr. Jobs. As a fan of Apple, Pixar, and his insatiable curiosity, I have no beef with the guy. In fact, back in 2005, he gave the commencement address at Stanford University, and there was one particular passage that has stuck with me ever since I first come across the piece a couple of years ago.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ 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.”
Everything else is secondary. In my experience, the happiest people are those who are doing what they love. They’re not obsessed with personal wealth, they’re not driven by the acquisition of power, and they have experienced love in the truest form imaginable. I heard last night that Steve Jobs spent time with his family and went to work at Apple and Pixar. That’s it. For as innovative as he was, his life was quite simple. He spent time with the people he loved and devoted his life’s work to what he loved. He didn’t care about a big house, the latest fashion, socializing with the ‘high and mighty’, and having his personal wealth define his being.
A common theme of this blog is how we’re not defined by our stuff. It doesn’t come with us when we die and it doesn’t last. It’s true, stuff doesn’t last. Our current Bible Study at church is reading When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box by John Ortberg. The message is simple – 1. live passionately and boldly, 2. learn how to be active players in the game that pleases God, 3. find your true mission and offer your best, 4. fill each square on the board with what matters most, and 5. seek the richness of being instead of the richness of having. In the end, it is just stuff.
We have limited time. We will all eventually die. And when it is our time, it doesn’t matter how much we have. Richness is not determined by stuff, it is determined by our being. It can be easy to forget. We all get sucked into the I want, I want, I want mentality. It’s human nature. We must keep reminding ourselves to seek the richness of being instead of the richness of having. After all, when the game is over, it all goes back in the box.