Hopefully my post from last week, Coffee Is For Closers, woke some of you up and made you realize life is not a waiting line. Not only do you not deserve anything, but you shouldn't be standing around waiting for it to come to you. You need to seize every day and opportunity, but at the same time, you cannot make your life solely about work.
But what happens when you actually get to the point where all that hard work has finally paid off and you can rest easy from your ivory tower? Well, hopefully you continue to press forward because unless you are retired the status quo is never acceptable.
I have made no attempt to hide my true feelings about Apple. Obviously they are a successful company worth billions of dollars, but for the past several years, they have still been trying to ride the wave of previous successes. Success, in my opinion, attributed solely to their one true god, Steve Jobs and an extremely loyal fan base. I digress, as this post isn't about Apple. I wanted to use Steve Jobs as an example of a man that had to climb to the top several times.
Fast forward to the mid1980s where Apple is on its way as a computer company having already released the Macintosh computer. Jobs had lured a man named John Sculley away from his position as President of Pepsi at the time to come be the CEO of Apple computers. Poor sales at Apple resulted in tensions between Sculley and Jobs causing a power struggle. Eventually, a board meeting was held where its members sided with Sculley and stripped Jobs of all his managerial duties. He was essentially exiled from his own company only to resign a few months later. Not technically fired, but, fired in so many words.
Imagine creating a company from scratch, pouring everything you have into it, only to be ousted. Jobs didn't wallow on this experience and claim defeat. Instead, he allowed a fire to roar inside of him. With that fire, he created NeXT Computer. I won't bore you with the details of NeXT computer. All you really need to know is it was initially financially backed by Ross Perot and eventually purchased by Apple for half a billion dollars in the late 90s, ultimately bringing Jobs back to the company he created and putting him right back in charge (and a little wealthier).
Job's was quoted in a speech given to Stanford University in 2005 regarding his ousting as saying:
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 - I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful-tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it
From here, everyone knows the rest of the story, he went on to pioneer .mp3 devices and smart phones, etc, most of which using technology and designs he had created at NeXT. This, my friends, is a perfect example of not accepting the status quo, not giving up, and always striving for more. This can be translated into your work, your path to promotions, raises, and even your personal life.
But what about your personal life? Often times we get so wrapped up in our careers, and constantly wanting to climb, that we forget to actually enjoy life and more importantly, take care of ourselves and the ones we love. I mean, for fucks sake, you spend more time with that piece of shit in the cube next to you that probablyand is all around useless to humanity than you do your own wife, family, or friends. I remember not too long ago realizing that I worked with some people that were so irrelevant to my life and I couldn't care less about that if I were told they were hit by a bus, I wouldn't bat an eye and would just move on with my day, only to realize I see that person more every week than I do my own wife.
Where am I going with this? Make every second count. If you are putting in the hard work and never accepting the status quo, your time will come professionally, I promise - but don't devote your life to your work, you will only regret it in the long run. There needs to be a balance. While Steve Jobs' time on this planet will have a lasting impact, I am sure his family will all agree that 56 years of age is much too short - and I am sure his wife and kids would have liked to have spent just a little bit more time with him.
Ask Steve Jobs, wealth don't buy health - Pusha T