Worrying Yields Warts
As I look back upon over 7-decades of journeying down the yellow brick road of life, I have been reminded many times that life has not always been fair. Some of the pain of life is my fault and often it is not. Nevertheless, the pain is present. It was an important lesson to learn about the fairness of life, which I learned years ago when I was very young. My second lesson is that pain can be a benefit if one addresses the pain. That lesson I have also known for much of my life. When I address the pain, I do find the gain.
My third learning has registered, but I am still wrestling with it. This learning is that we need to live life facing the unfairness issue with some sort of abandonment. I understand the laissez-faire attitude intellectually. However, it is emotionally more difficult fully to appreciate. While suffering yields success, worrying yields warts. As I pondered this issue to quit obsessing about the pain to benefit ratio, I was writing an article about one of my mentors who I had never met...Steve Jobs.
Even though Steve Jobs and I never met, I have benefited from his wisdom and have used much of that wisdom in dozens of articles over the years. There was a person that life did not treat very well. Think about it. What follows is a brief outline of times when Jobs was dealt an unfair hand. His biological mother was single and a graduate student that for some personal reason did not wish to be burdened by a baby. She gave him up for adoption immediately after delivering him into the world.
After Steve Jobs' adopted parents promised the biological mother that her newborn would go to college, she signed the adoption papers. As he grew up and graduated from high school, he did go to college for a half year and dropped out. He saw many of the required classes as unimportant to him. Jobs started a company, Apple, from which he was fired. Later, he was diagnosis with pancreatic cancer and died six years later.
Talk about the cards being stacked against Steve Jobs. Several decks were stacked against him. What is intriguing about Jobs' journey in life dealing with its unfairness was that he wrestled with the identical issues, which I am dealing. Life is not often fair, dealing with the pain is beneficial, and dealing with the pain with a degree of abandonment.
Jobs understood the truth of all three learnings. Look what he did as he journeyed down his yellow brick road of life. It is legendary; he changed the computer world and helped change the larger world. Millions have benefited from what started out as a problem pregnancy.
Therefore, I have spent some time attempting to understand what allowed Steve Jobs to address the fairness issue. I came up with a handful of personality traits that Jobs emulated in his facing the cards that were dealt to him. This is my list of Steve Jobs' five personality traits that addressed the problems and pains of life: thinking outside the box, autonomy, self-confidence, drive, and fearlessness. He took the cards dealt him and applied especially these traits.
Further, Jobs' thinking allowed him to observe, "The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it into a nationwide communications network. We're just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people-as remarkable as the telephone." That is thinking outside the box.
He spoke of self-confidence in his commencement address at Stanford in 2005. He wanted that graduating class to understand what he learned in life.
Steve Jobs is one of my role models and one for millions throughout the world. His suffering the unfairness of life was the reason for his success. Had not all those problems occurred, we would have never heard of him. In addition, personal computers, tablets, iPhones, digital publishing, iPods, iTunes, and animation would not be where they are today.
Therefore, it boils down to a simple choice for me, and it is a choice for you also. Steve Jobs has shown us that suffering yields success. The alternative is that worrying yields warts. Choose wisely.
Steve Jobs' commencement speech at Stanford:
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