With the passing of Steve Jobs this week, I felt compelled to write about the legacy he has left behind. After hearing about it yesterday I wondered if there has been any other individual or company who has directly, and often indirectly, affected so many lives in our generation. My first computer was an Apple IIc. Back in the 80's I wouldn't have recognized Steve Jobs' name, but already his vision had an effect on my life. It sparked my lifelong love of computers and all technology.
Obviously the "little" reference in the title of this post does not refer to Steve Jobs in anyway. He left a huge legacy that will forever change the way we interact with each other and the rest of the world. I don't know how many of us will be able to leave such a large legacy. And that's OK, because I don't think that is the point.
When thinking about our Mission in life, we often feel that we have to do something big in order for it to be meaningful. You'll remember my prior post about Career Advancement Option #3 which allows you to Drive with Purpose: find a career that is meaningful and make changes as needed to fit your changing personal, professional, and spiritual goals in life. I also discussed A Hierarchy of Career Fulfillment that helps us to see if our career is meeting our needs.
One of the questions from that Hierarchy related to changing the world for the better. It's easy to get stuck on this question. Sometimes I look at what I do and wonder if it is making a difference. Does making a Web site for a nonprofit or small business really help anyone in the grand scheme of things? What I've realized is that we are here to serve others in some way and the work we do can make a difference even if it is in a small way. So much of the work that my company does involves creating the behind-the-scenes infrastructure that helps our wonderful clients do their work.
Here are just a few of the items from my list over the years:
- Connecting individuals to locations where they can donate goods for cancer patients
- Providing access to downloadable voter resources to promote democracy in underserved populations
- Creating a hub for disabled workers to find work and support
- Showcasing events and resources for healthcare professionals working in developing countries
- Helping low-income parents find clothing for their children
When I look at it this way it brings a tear to my eye and gives me a renewed passion for my work. Sure, I'm not saving lives or winning Nobel Prizes, but my work is helping someone somewhere every minute of everyday. And that's enough for me.
Thanks to Steve Jobs for inspiring an industry and multiple generations of individuals and businesses!
While putting the finishing touches on my book layout this weekend, I began to think about this question. I do explore destiny vs. free will, but don't specifically explore the afterlife as it relates to your Mission.
We all have some type of Mission to fulfill. This leaves me with a question that can be asked in two ways:
- Does everyone get to achieve their Mission?
- When you achieve your Mission, is your business on Earth finished?
If we think about people we know personally that have passed on, I'm sure you can answer those questions quickly. There are people that pass on much earlier than we think they should have. Those folks may have made a mark on the world, but may not have achieved their Mission. On the flip-side, there are folks that have lived long lives, but also may not have achieved their Mission for a variety of reasons.
So, if someone lives their life and doesn't figure out how to express their Mission, does that mean their life didn't have any meaning? I doubt that it is that cut-and-dried. Even in the process of figuring out what to do, you come across some life lessons that can make a difference (for yourself and the Universe).
I don't have any brilliant answers for this one, but am curious about what others think of these questions.