Leaving a Legacy
As most of the world has already heard, Apple co-founder and multi-industry leader Steve Jobs died last Wednesday, a result of complications from pancreatic cancer. Millions of people worldwide mourned the loss felt by the Jobs’ family, by Apple, and by the technology industry in general. I read many quotes from people often saying, “why do I feel so sad over the death of someone I’ve never met?”
And equally as common as the question, I heard answers: “because even though you never met him, you use things every day that have been heavily influenced by him, and are signed with his passion.”
Whether you loved or hated the work Steve Jobs did is irrelevant: no one can deny that his influence over the past 35 years, and more specifically the past decade, has been world-changing. His impact not only shaped the tech industry, but the music and entertainment industries as well. His legacy will live on long after his death.
But this article isn’t about Steve Jobs. Nor is it about Apple, gadgetry, technology, music, or entertainment. This article is about you. Jobs was an illegitimate baby, given up for adoption, and a college drop-out. In the time this happened, these factors meant that the odds for success were stacked heavily against him. And yet, he changed not just a company, and not just an industry, but three industries, forever.
And so, the challenge. What are you doing this year to usher in change? What are you doing this month? This week? What will you do today? When today ends, can you look back on it with a healthy pride and say, “this is one step towards changing the world?” Maybe not the whole world… but at least yours. What are you doing today that contributes to your legacy for tomorrow?
For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. – Steve Jobs