Tribute

The world changed yesterday; we lost a true innovator and free-thinker. He was one of the crazy ones. The ones that followed their passion with reckless abandon. As I read tributes and watched videos yesterday in stunned disbelief, a few of his quotes seemed to resonate with me. These were taken from his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford. The irony is that I have wanted to write a post about the life changes that I made in the past few years but could never get it out.

Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

This rings true for me in a personal way. The death of our 3-week old son became an agent of change in our lives. It was an event that we had no control over and were faced with only one real choice, to move forward. A close encounter with death will reveal to you just how precious life is. Just because you think you are entitled to another day, or year, doesn’t mean you will get it.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

We realized that working and a job that I disliked, trading my time for some money, was for someone else. I didn’t want to be the person that dreaded working all week and counted the days until the weekend or the next vacation. Life is what happens when you are waiting for the next big thing to happen.

Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.

I feel that our culture is deceiving its members. We are being sold a bill of goods that is supposed to lead to happiness, but only drives you further from it. We are taught that everything is all about us; that we are entitled to whatever you can think of. We are taught that we need to keep up with the Jones’ of the world, that our value as a person is based in where we leave or what kind of car we drive; I challenge that.

Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.

You become like those that you keep company with. Which kind of voices do you want to have around you? People that can’t do something themselves will try to bring you down with them; will try to discourage you from succeeding. I quit my job to get away from those kinds of people, and minimized contact with the people in my life whose words or very being acted like a poison or toxin. I feel like I woke up from dazed or zombie like state, only to see that the bulk of the people around me are still in that state. Those that have “woken up” can quickly identify their own kind. I sought out these people in part to be encouraged, and in part to encourage them in return.

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.

For all of our sakes I hope this is true. Steve Jobs epitomized this statement. I only hope (and will keep trying) to do the same. I doubt that we will see someone change the world as dramatically as he did in a long time, certainly not in the same manor. Thank you for being an agent of change, Steve.

I can think of no greater tribute than trying to leave each day with purpose; like it may be your last.

Comments

  1. Really nice tribute Darryl. Steve’s death is a reminder to have passion for what you do every day.

  2. This man was a real inspiration to my whole generation. We need more leaders like this and less of the leaders we currently have.

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