Our True Heritage


 

 

 

Our True Heritage

 

 
The cosmos is filled with precious gems.
I want to offer a handful of them to you this morning.
Each moment you are alive is a gem,
shining through and containing earth and sky,
water and clouds.
 
It needs you to breathe gently
for the miracles to be displayed.
Suddenly you hear the birds singing,
the pines chanting,
see the flowers blooming,
the blue sky,
the white clouds,
the smile and the marvelous look
of your beloved.
 
You, the richest person on Earth,
who have been going around begging for a living,
stop being the destitute child.
Come back and claim your heritage.
We should enjoy our happiness
and offer it to everyone.
Cherish this very moment.
Let go of the stream of distress
and embrace life fully in your arms.
 
 

 

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Life’s That Way


As If There’s A Rule Book…

“April 11, 2004

Does anyone know where I can find a copy of the rules of thought, feeling, and behavior in these circumstances? It seems like there should be a rule book somewhere that lays out everything exactly the way one should respond to a loss like this. I’d surely like to know if I’m doing it right. Am I whining enough or too much? Am I unseemly in my occasional moments of lightheartedness? At what date and I supposed to turn off the emotion and jump back on the treadmill of normalcy? Is there a specific number of days or decades that must pass before I can do something I enjoy without feeling I’ve betrayed my dearest love? And when, oh when, am I ever really going to believe this has happened? Next time you’re in a bookstore, as if there’s a rule book.

11:54 p.m.

Jim”

 

I’ve never gotten caught up in the notion that this turn of events isn’t “fair.”  I don’t believe in “fairness.”  Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people and all the possible permutations of those happenings, and there’s nothing fair or unfair about it – it just is.

― Jim BeaverLife’s That Way: A Memoir

 

Steve Jobs: 20 Life Lessons


Steve Jobs: 20 Life Lessons.

By Lance Ulanoff

“My feelings about Steve Jobs have always been a little mixed. I long admired his entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen and was in sheer awe of his natural instincts for what appeals to consumers. On the other hand I bristled at what I saw as his — and by extension Apple’s — occasionally capricious and even contradictory actions (App store products in or out, inability to get in front of product issues, antennaegate) and super-secretive nature.

Now, having finished the 600-plus page Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson, I think I finally understand Steve Jobs. Like most of us, his personality had many sides. He could be aloof, super-intense, odd, gross, passionate, creative, driven, unfair, conciliatory and deeply introspective. He lived a rich and unique life.

As I read the tome on my Kindle, I highlighted interesting, surprising and relevant passages. Now, as I look back at them I realize that many help illustrate some of the larger lessons we can all glean from Steve Jobs’ remarkable life.

Don’t Wait

When the young Steve Jobs wanted to build something and needed a piece of equipment, he went straight to the source.

“He began by recalling that he had wanted to build a frequency counter when he was twelve, and he was able to look up Bill Hewlett, the founder of HP, in the phone book and call him to get parts.”

Make Your Own Reality

Steve Jobs learned early that when you don’t like how things are in your life or in your world, change them, either through action or sheer force of will.

“As Hoffman later lamented, “The reality distortion field can serve as a spur, but then reality itself hits.” – Joanna Hoffman, part of Apple’s early Macintosh team.

“I didn’t want to be a father, so I wasn’t,” Jobs later said, with only a touch of remorse in his voice.

Control Everything You Can

Steve Jobs was, to a certain degree, a hippie. However, unlike most free spirits of the 1960s-to-1970s love-in era, Jobs was a detail-oriented control freak.

“He wants to control his environment, and he sees the product as an extension of himself.”

Own Your Mistakes

Jobs could be harsh and even thoughtless. Perhaps nowhere was that more in evidence than with his first daughter. Still, as Jobs grew older and began to face mortality, he more readily admitted his mistakes.

“I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, such as getting my girlfriend pregnant when I was twenty-three and the way I handled that,” Jobs said.”

Know Yourself

While not always aware of how those around him were reacting to his appearance or demeanor, Jobs had no illusions about his own formidable intellectual skills.

“Then a more disconcerting discovery began to dawn on him: He was smarter than his parents.”

Leave the Door Open for the Fantastic

Jobs was a seeker, pursuing spiritual enlightenment and body purification throughout his life. He wasn’t a particularly religious person, but did not dismiss the existence or something beyond our earth-bound realm.

“I think different religions are different doors to the same house. Sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don’t. It’s the great mystery.” — Steve Jobs

Don’t Hold Back

Apple’s founder was famous for his outbursts and sometimes over-emotional responses. In product development, things were often amazing or sh_t.

“He was an enlightened being who was cruel,” she recalled. “That’s a strange combination.”– former girlfriend and mother of Jobs’ first daughter, Chrisann Brennan

Surround Yourself with Brilliance

Whether he was willing to admit it or not, Steve Jobs could not do everything. Yes, he could have a huge impact on every product and marketing campaign, but he also knew that there were others in the world with skills he did not possess. Jobs’ early partnership with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak perfectly illustrated this fact. His early success with Wozniak provided the template for future collaborations.

“After a couple of months he was ready to test it. ‘I typed a few keys on the keyboard and I was shocked! The letters were displayed on the screen.’ It was Sunday, June 29, 1975, a milestone for the personal computer. “It was the first time in history,” Wozniak later said, “anyone had typed a character on a keyboard and seen it show up on their own computer’s screen right in front of them.”

Build a Team of A Players

Far too often, companies and managers settle for average employees. Steve Jobs recognized talent and decided that any conflict that might arise from a company full of “A”-level players would be counterbalanced by awesome output. He may have been right.

“For most things in life, the range between best and average is 30% or so. The best airplane flight, the best meal, they may be 30% better than your average one. What I saw with Woz was somebody who was fifty times better than the average engineer. He could have meetings in his head. The Mac team was an attempt to build a whole team like that, A players. People said they wouldn’t get along, they’d hate working with each other. But I realized that A players like to work with A players, they just didn’t like working with C players.”– Steve Jobs

“I’ve learned over the years that when you have really good people you don’t have to baby them,” Jobs later explained. “By expecting them to do great things, you can get them to do great things.”

Be Yourself

Steve Jobs was often so busy being himself that he had no idea how people saw him, especially in his early, dirty-hippie days.

“At meetings we had to look at his dirty feet.” Sometimes, to relieve stress, he would soak his feet in the toilet, a practice that was not as soothing for his colleagues.”—Mike Markkula, Apple’s first chairman.

Be Persuasive

While it’s true that early Steve Jobs was a somewhat smelly and unpleasant person to be around, this same Steve Jobs also trained himself to stare without blinking for long periods of time and found that he could persuade people to do the seemingly impossible.

“If it could save a person’s life, would you find a way to shave ten seconds off the boot time?” he asked. Kenyon allowed that he probably could. Jobs went to a whiteboard and showed that if there were five million people using the Mac, and it took ten seconds extra to turn it on every day, that added up to three hundred million or so hours per year that people would save, which was the equivalent of at least one hundred lifetimes saved per year.”

Show Others the Way

Jobs wasn’t truly a programmer or technologist, certainly not in the way that Microsoft founder Bill Gates is, yet he had an intuitive understanding for technology and design that ended up altering the world’s expectations for computers and, more importantly, consumer electronics.

“To be honest, we didn’t know what it meant for a computer to be ‘friendly’ until Steve told us.” — Terry Oyama, part of the early Macintosh design team.

Trust Your Instincts

I have, in my own career, navigated by gut on more than one occasion. Steve Jobs, though, had a deep and abiding belief in his own tastes and believed with utter certainty that if he liked something, the public would as well. He was almost invariably right.

“Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone?” — Steve Jobs

Take Risks

Throughout his career, Steve Jobs took chances, first with the launch of Apple, then in walking away from it and then returning in 1997. In an era when most companies were figuring out ways to diversify, Apple — under Job’s leadership — shed businesses and products, and focused on relatively few areas. He was also willing to steer the entire Apple ship (or at least some aspects of it) in a single direction if he thought it would generate future success.

“One of Jobs’ management philosophies was that it is crucial, every now and then, to roll the dice and ‘bet the company’ on some new idea or technology.”

“I had this crazy idea that we could sell just as many Macs by advertising the iPod. In addition, the iPod would position Apple as evoking innovation and youth. So I moved $75 million of advertising money to the iPod, even though the category didn’t justify one hundredth of that. That meant that we completely dominated the market for music players. We outspent everybody by a factor of about a hundred.” — Steve Jobs.

Follow Great with Great

In everything from products to movies (under Pixar), Steve Jobs sought to create great follow-ups. He wasn’t so successful in the early part of his career (see Lisa), but his third acts to Pixar and Apple proved he had the sequel touch.

“There’s a classic thing in business, which is the second-product syndrome,” Jobs later said. It comes from not understanding what made your first product so successful. “I lived through that at Apple. My feeling was, if we got through our second film, we’d make it.”

Make Tough Decisions

Good managers and leaders are willing to do hard work and, often, make unpopular decisions. Jobs apparently had little concern about being liked and therefore was well-equipped to make tough choices.

“The most visible decision he made was to kill, once and for all, the Newton, the personal digital assistant with the almost-good handwriting-recognition system.”

Presentation Can Make a World of Difference

The Apple founder hated PowerPoint presentations, but perhaps somewhat uncharacteristically, believed elegant product presentation was critical.

“Packaging can be theater, it can create a story.” — Jony Ive, Apple designer.

Find a Way to Balance Your Intensity

It’s unclear if Steve Jobs ever truly mellowed, but he did learn that a buffer between him and the rest of Apple could be useful.

“In a company that was led by a CEO prone to tantrums and withering blasts, Cook commanded situations with a calm demeanor, a soothing Alabama accent, and silent stares.”

Live for Today

Even as Steve Jobs struggled with cancer, he rarely slowed down. If anything, the disease helped him focus his efforts and pursue some of his grandest dreams.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” — Steve Jobs

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” — Steve Jobs

Share Your Wisdom

Steve Jobs was not a philanthropic soul. He had a passion for products and success, but it wasn’t until he became quite ill that he started reaching out and offering his wisdom to others in the tech community.

“I will continue to do that with people like Mark Zuckerberg too. That’s how I’m going to spend part of the time I have left. I can help the next generation remember the lineage of great companies here and how to continue the tradition. The Valley has been very supportive of me. I should do my best to repay.” — Steve Jobs”

Global Village Champions Foundation: Twitter Top Five Supporters


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Help Fight World Hunger

Global Village Champions Foundation: Twitter TopFive Supporters

(Thank you Jackie Bigford)

Endings Are The Start Of New Beginnings


The old saying, "all good things must come to end" is probably more accurate than we would like to believe. And certainly if the end is not followed by fresh new starts and new beginnings, we can feel as though our "story" is ending. This can lead to depression or just a lack of motivation and passion for life. But, it doesn't have to. Perhaps we should view our lives as a sequel. We are simply moving from one book to the next in the ever building drama of our lives, in which we, and our supporting cast, are the main characters.

The end of a job, a relationship, a passion or pursuit should be viewed as an opportunity to move on to the next chapter; the next book in this sequel we are in. Closed doors cause us to look for open doors. Endings are the start of new beginnings.

 

The truth is, endings are a part of all our lives. It’s the price we must pay to move forward and arrive at our next destination. How we view those endings in our lives will determine how passionately we pursue the opportunities awaiting our future.


With the right attitude and the motivation to move forward, you can let your endings or failures be the fuel that moves you to seek the new beginnings that will create new opportunities, relationships and directions. Look for new beginnings today. They are most likely not far away from your reach!

 

Remember, your “story” is still being written!

Rising Above Hopelessness And Despair


i swear.

Image via Wikipedia

A great enemy we all face is a cruel, punishing, debilitating tyrant– despair. Despair is caused by an absence of hope.  If you lose hope, despair is the cruel bully that quickly follows.

Despair leads us to many self destructive decisions and life choices. Despair leads us to addictive behavior and abusive actions , not only to others, but to ourselves. Despair robs us of our desire to move forward, have healthy relationships, or our desire to live.

Losing hope is the warning sign that we need help to restore our hope and to put a road block in the pathway of despair’s march to destroy us.

Our key to restoring hope is to get help.  Isolation kills.  People need people, especially in crisis.  All of us need an informal or formal support group of people we can reach out to when despair makes its march against us.

Do you have someone you can reach out to? As all of us should have a disaster survival plan in the event of an emergency, we should have a crisis intervention plan when we lose our hope and see the ugly head of despair glaring at us. Make a list of people today that you can reach out to, and reach out.  Do it today, ahead of despairs cruel offensive against you.  Don’t wait until despair has its ugly arms clutched around your throat, choking the life out of you.

With the help of people who care about you, you can rise above hopelessness and despair!

(For more help, please click on any of the organizations located on the left hand side of this blog. They are all free services and completely anonymous.)

“Stand Tall”


My friend, Mark, insisted that I take a listen to this song he co-wrote. After listening to it, I knew it had to be shared with all of you. It’s truly an uplifting and inspirational song.

  • “I’d Like to present you this song I Co-wrote with Bruce Corian. It is a song about overcoming all the barriers that life throws up as you move through life. I hope it Inspires you to overcome whatever hurdle stands in your way.
    -Mark Wagnell”
  • I hope this song brings a smile to your face and encourages you to embrace life. I’ll be following up on his next project, another video, which will be sure to inspire as well.

    Enjoy friends! ~Nora

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