That’s The Way Things Are

Dream On

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Apple is freakin’ awesome.

No, not the fruit. The company.

Their products are pretty amazing, you have to admit. You can listen to music on players the thickness of two credit cards, some of which have widths as small as a large eraser. They have cell phones that do pretty much, well, everything. They have tablets that weigh nothing and do everything as well, and laptops that are just pretty cool.

In large part, we can thank Steve Jobs for all these amazing innovations and products. Of course, he passed away a couple of weeks ago from cancer but, he certainly made the most of his life while he was with us.

He had a dream and a passion, and overcame a ton to achieve it and follow his heart. He was given up at birth by his biological parents. He dropped out of college (to audit classes solely in the arena he was interested in) and didn’t get a degree. He went through multiple versions of his first product before finding one that actually worked the way he wanted. Oh, and not to mention he was kicked out of his own company after he’d found success.

Not bad, huh?

Everyone (or most people at least) have a dream of what they’d like to do with their lives. Much of the time, these aspirations are a bit more traditional, like becoming a doctor or a lawyer. Other times, however, as was the case for Mr. Jobs, the dreams we aspire to achieve and what we want to become are a bit more off the beaten path. Create a brand new product, put together a new computer program, come up with new ideas for television shows or movies…

I’m talking about innovation…

and not just innovation, but genuine creativity and following your passion.

This is such a genuinely two-sided topic, because innovation can be a real roll of the dice. On the one hand, if you go after your dream and fight through the frustration and leap the hurdles and achieve it, it can be terrific — not just for you, but as was certainly the case for Jobs, the rest of the world as well, by giving other people the wonderful new product you’ve come up with.

But in the same instance, when you go after something that isn’t as traditional a career as many other vocations, you can struggle at it for quite a while until you find success, if you ever do. Many a time, there are people who follow their hearts, but just can never quite achieve their dreams.

And the awful economy we’re currently experiencing is certainly a factor as well. Terrible economic circumstances would be considered by many to be a blow to innovation, but I don’t think it’s quite that clear cut.

A frequent argument is that since the economy is so crappy you have to abandon your dreams and just take whatever job you can get, whether it’s a bad position or one that’s unrelated to what you really want to do.

However, the poor economy and job market could be a catalyst to motivate someone who can’t find a position. Maybe someone with a true passion will have a great idea and will devote his or her energy to making that dream come true.

Through good and bad economic times, that’s precisely what Steve Jobs did. He whole-heartedly went for his dream, non-believers be damned. And that’s precisely what so many other innovators have found the courage to do as well. And I can’t help but think of Jobs’ words in his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford, when he urged the graduates to follow their hearts, and to pursue their passions.

Well said Mr. Jobs, well said.

“An ounce of action of is worth a ton of theory.”– Friedrich Engels

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