Steve Jobs, Synchronicity, Connecting the Dots & Trust


UPDATE!!!

This post was originally written in early 2008 and was updated after he had his liver transplant in 2009. In light of Mr. Jobs passing, this YouTube video of his commencement address has gone viral – (10Million hits later). We originally shared this video when it was in the low 6 figures. I felt it was important to bring this back to the TOP of the POST pile.

If you haven’t seen this video, it’s extremely worthwhile and the words below are designed to challenge your personal reflection.

Recall Aristotle’s famous quote: “Wisdom is an equal measure of Experience plus Reflection.

E + R = W

ENJOY!

Stanford Commencement Address 2005.
Mr. Steven Jobs; Monster-Entrepreneur, Apple & Pixar CEO, Super-Hero Extraordinaire

“Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.” ~Kierkegaard

Every time I see this speech I’m awed by the number of gems Steve shares. I find it interesting to overlay these anecdotes against the backdrop of my personal experiences. His tales of opportunity, following his heart, continuous learning, failure, humility, and of course, mortality are both profound and inspiring.

However, I ask you, “How unique are they?” Just how rare are these “coincidences?”

The question I encourage you to ask is, “where are the parallels?” Surely you recognize you don’t have to be CEO of a couple fortune 500 companies to notice that, ultimately, the song remains the same; that these synchronistic events happen daily for everyone. The real question is not, “how rare is this?” But rather, “How aware am I to the events and all the possibilities?”

Think about it. One day Jobs is walking eight miles to eat at a Hare Krishna Temple – the next, he’s revolutionizing the computing industry. A slight exaggeration perhaps. However, the point is not to be lost, those were two very real “stations” in his life separated only by awareness, purity of intent and of course time.

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A Goal Setting Best Practice (Counter-Intuitive) Keep your goals QUIET!

If you’ve read The 3 C’s of Succcess (and i’m sure you have : ) thank you…) you know one of the more controversial statements I make about achieving your goals is to KEEP YOUR GOALS (particularly your BIGGEST, HAIRIEST, SCARIEST, FREAKIEST goal, TO YOURSELF!)

I can’t tell you how many comments I received telling me that was “INCORRECT”. Continue reading

Competition is GREAT and why losing is often FAR BETTER

“If you ain’t first, you’re last. You know, you know what I’m talking about? ” ~Ricky Bobby

“Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.” ~Vincent Lombardi

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” ~Michael Jordan

My morning run typically ends at a park. Given that summer has just started more than a few dozen kids can be found running around and playing on any given morning. In between sets, (pushups/pullups) I notice that seemingly everywhere kids are competing; racing on foot, racing on bikes (one tiny kid had a bike that didn’t even have peddles and was racing!) everywhere I looked kids were playing tag, soccer, etc. Then, it spilled out of my mouth; jaw dropped, ipod blaring in my ears, “duh, (i said to me) competition IS natural.”

News flash! It’s human nature to compete. However, somewhere between when I was six years old and my daughter turned six we became “NICE”. You know, no winners and no losers. “Don’t worry Jimmy, just feel good.” Sarah, (who scored 3 goals) looks confused as we explain why she didn’t actually win. “there are no winners Sarah.”

While there are many larger societal challenges at the moment this one is on my radar. When and WHY did we decide we could reverse thousands of years of competitive evolution and teach kids NOT to compete? Does anyone think Sarah really believes there are no winners? Who thinks the Olympic games are going to disappear anytime soon? Guess what, kids know better instinctively.

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Guest Post: This is where the story really begins…

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” ~T.S. Eliot

It was a beautiful spring day, the sun was out, the birds were singing, squirrels were playing in the yard, and I Brian Webb a recent college graduate was deciding my future. I was at home in Maysville, Kentucky discussing what I should do with my life and what endeavors I should partake. The decisions were made that I should move to Cincinnati and live with my father and work in the IT field with his company as a mentor/internship. With my education, it was believed that I can move up to management. With that decided, I drove back to Lexington content on my decision.

“Life tends to happen when you are making plans.” I arrived at my apartment in Lexington, Kentucky and decided to lay down on the couch to take a nap. However, I couldn’t sleep, I had a strange headache coming on stronger and stronger. Bam! Bam! BAM!!! Felt like a nail was being driven in the back of my skull. The pain was excruciating! So, painful in fact that I got sick and passed out.

My brother came rushing to my side and called 911. The ambulance delivers me to the ER in a coma. End of story.

Now, this is where the adventure really begins…. Continue reading

Guest Post: Kill Your Inner Cynic

“What is a cynic?
A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

I read a magazine article today about cynicism, and it really got me thinking. The author basically stated that the reason that men fail in their endeavors is an abundance of cynicism. And of course the cynics in us all are automatically skeptical of this statement, but he further goes on to ask us to stop and see if we can think of ONE successful cynic. Just one. It’s damn near impossible.

Incredibly successful people, whether they’re actors, entertainers, athletes or just general moguls, all share one thing: a sincere belief in themselves and in other people. It’s not enough just to be self-confident and self-sufficient. To be successful also requires that you sincerely believe in the good of mankind.
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Be Smart; Know “Smarts” Ain’t The Answer

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”~Albert Einstein

Many of us may not give this quote a second look. Some have actually laughed at it. However, when they recognize Einstein said it, at the very least it gives them pause. However, sadly, most of us really don’t take the time to truly understand its significance.

Consider for a minute: If mankind worked only from what we know today, how could society progress?

For the purposes of ingraining Einstein’s message further, draw your own time-line on a sheet of paper. Now, mark the middle of it with a small vertical line (as above), and to the left of this vertical line, write the words “past/knowledge”; to the right, please write “future/imagination.”

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Guest Post: Pep Talk

Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.
~Winston Churchill

Guest Post by: Suzanne Grenoble
What might I share with your audience?
Aristotle once said: “Excellence, then, is not a single act, but a habit.”
So, the reverse must hold true: Failure is not a single act, it is a habit.

Who knowingly practices the habit of failure? None of us, I am sure. But tiny things erode our success. It is the small detail that sets us back. For example, the habit of blaming others prevents us from changing ourselves. So this habit might be part of a framework of habits that surround failure.

There is no doubt that neither failure nor success are guaranteed. We control what we put out, and how we deal with feedback. If our efforts come to nothing, we can make improvements in our practice, or we can make excuses to avoid working on weaknesses and liabilities.

The choice is daily, and the choice is ours. Look at the success stories of history. Winston Churchill is credited for saving England from total collapse under Nazi bombardment. Yet he experienced failure, and depression. For Churchill to live through World War II and the Allied Victory, only to be voted out of office when England had arrived safely in the harbor of peace, must have been a blow. Yet he is remembered for his valor and deep belief in England and in freedom, not for petty politics. He endured when others gave up, because he knew those who had little courage or faith needed him, and he came through.

We pick ourselves up and carry on, we set our sights high, and we do not settle for anything less than the best of ourselves.

I think success is the habit of catching the little things, of starting over, and of aiming high, day after day. Success is indeed a habit, the habit of believing.

——
Suzanne, Thanks again! Wonderful post and appreciate you sharing!
BTW: All others, we are accepting guest posts if YOU are interested and brave like Suzanne submit your post to  {Mitchwsteel AT     G m A iL .C Om} oneword. We will review and put in the queue!

peace

~mws

Reconstructing The 3 C’s

Whoopie! For the second time now! (maybe 3rd!?) It’s happened again – we’ve been hacked!

for those of you who’ve stuck it out through our significant downtime, THANK YOU! Appreciate your patience.

The webhost has taken some of the responsibility and when i find the time i’ll share Ma.tt ‘s post about the situation (wordpress & netsol). It’s pretty classic.

please enjoy the site once again (share) and we’ll have some new content soon.

Note: comments are now OFF as we’ve lost hundreds in the first attack. oooops. what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and we’re practicing what we preach here.

cheers.

~mws

Write Your Own Obituary; The Best Advice Nobody Ever Gave Me

picture-5You might consider this the ultimate “begin with the end in mind” exercise and, really, it falls perfectly in line with one’s attempt to create their ideal future – their success.

Rest assured, there isn’t a greater ‘end’ to consider than YOUR END- (your death/departure from this planet).

So, if it’s helpful to ‘begin with the end in mind’ for goals and projects you can bet it’s pretty darn valuable for your life.

For those who haven’t heard the story there is a terrific anecdote about Dr. Alfred Nobel. What you may not know is that while today everyone hears his name “Nobel” and thinks “Peace Prize” originally, this was far from the case.

In fact, turns out that in 1888 a French paper erroneously proclaimed “The merchant of death is now dead.” The story went on to explain that the man who invented and patented dynamite (his original claim to fame) and a faster, cheaper, quicker way to kill people died in a fatal explosion. As you might expect, a very alive and able Dr. Nobel read this account of his death and its merciless headline and was mortified by the prospect that his lifetime work and his legacy would be relegated and labeled synonymous with death and destruction. This was not the legacy the good doctor had in mind.

Turns out, after reading his own obituary he instantly knew he had to redefine just what his life was to mean; what he was to represent and how he wanted to be remembered.

Drum roll please…
So, here’s a couple KEY questions for YOU to answer…

What do you want your life to represent?

How would you like to be remembered?

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