By Mark Macias
Steve Jobs was the biggest entrepreneur of a century. What if we could channel him today and ask him about life and creativity? How do we tap into that powerful source of energy?
I never met Steve Jobs and don’t claim to know his thoughts, but I do promise these quotes are directly from him. Their analysis is by me, which means only time will reveal if these insights are true. For now, go along with the journey.
A Conversation with Steve Jobs on Creativity
Steve Jobs: “When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation… On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road…. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself.”
Mark Macias: We’re in difficult financial times right now. Many people worry about losing their jobs and it’s an understandable fear. So sticking with the, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish” phrase. How do we stay hungry when success gives us an opportunity for steak and wine every night? How do we stay foolish when we see the risks from making bad decisions?
Steve Jobs: “I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? … What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating. I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
Mark Macias: Every entrepreneur, journalist, businessman wants to be creative, but few know how to achieve it? Creativity is about losing yourself. When I was an Executive Producer with WNBC, I learned that power is an aphrodisiac and once you taste it, you never want anything else. That’s fine if you can sustain the habit, but fame and power are both fleeting.
Power also constricts your creativity because you are so focused on the act of maintaining control. Creativity and control are juxtaposed. They don’t work together. How do you manage that dichotomy?
Death is the Best Invention of Life?
Steve Jobs: “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…. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Mark Macias: Steve Jobs left behind a fortune worth billions of dollars. He could have done anything he wanted or traveled anywhere, met any person.
Luckily, he grasped the big picture of life and that is – in my analysis – life is just the first act and as soon as you realize that, it suddenly gets fun. You don’t worry what people say or believe and as a businessman, journalist or entrepreneur – you don’t follow others. My Dad always told me to create my own path. I didn’t understand that as a 9-year-old. I thought he was trying to tell me to get lost in his own polite way. Now, as an adult, I think he was telling me what Steve Jobs told us: Have the courage to follow your heart.