I have an acquaintance from high school, who is (to put it lightly) extremely busy on facebook. He posts more links concerning more subjects than anyone else I know.
But it's not just that he posts the links, he comments on the links. He asks questions, seeks dialogue, and follows-up. He argues. He pushes his points. He genuinely seems to care. Perhaps, it amazes me, because half of the time, I have no idea what the articles he posts are talking about.
They just make me tired.
Over my self-imposed Christmas break, I read Steve Jobs' biography. Talk about a fascinating brain.
In the book, he comes across as the most egotistical, manipulative perfectionist, who was a nightmare to work for and frustrating to live with. At one point, I asked Mark, "When am I going to get to the redeeming aspect of this guy?"
So much of what he fixated upon, so much of his drive, so much of what he cared about does not jive in the slightest with me.
In fact, it mostly makes me tired.
However, on a scaled down, more average Joe, less Steve Jobs level, much of his passion invirgorated a fire within my soul.
It makes me want to stretch, to breath, to open my eyes to possibilities. To think really hard. To sit down, in quiet, and to think. To make my brain hurt with such intense thinking. To discard bad ideas, but to foster good ones. To write down good ideas, and to continue to think about them. To edit, to adjust, to perfect. To grow something. To pour my time, my energy, my thoughts, my intellect into something that really matters. To produce.
Did I just get caught up in the Steve Jobs' reality distortion field for a second?
Y'all, while reading this book, I was totally sucked into the Steve Jobs' RDF. So much so, that mid-sentence, I jumped up, grabbed my idea notebook, and wrote, "Some days are best spent in bed with a basket of Christmas goodies and Steve Jobs' biography. I'm going to break-out in 2014. 2014 is my year."
What does that even mean? I have no idea. It's all cryptic and profound sounding, but more likely, hollow and weird. At least I didn't immediately post to twitter.
Perhaps, this is where the brain-hurting thinking comes into play.
I am no genius. In fact, as demonstrated, my brain gets real tired, real quick.
But neither am I content to idle away, letting potentially good thoughts turn to mush. I am not content to have no goals, no ideas churning, no growth occuring.
Perhaps, "breaking-out in 2014" simply means pushing through to the end of an idea trail rather than succumbing to fatigue and falling asleep. Perhaps it is forcing myself to do the brain work, even if it ends up leading nowhere. Perhaps its thinking through the connections of faith, passion, training, and how these components can be passed on or as Jobs would say, imputed, to the world. (Clarification: Imputation is not being used in a theological sense here.)
Steve Jobs never did marketing research. He was fond of saying that people don't know what they want. It was his job, Apple's job, to show them what they wanted, why they needed it.
He was a visionary, a motivator, and a perfectionist. His products were complete packages, they worked in themselves from end to end. The hardware, software, design, power, everything was connected, just like Jobs. He was the complete package.
His work was exact. And successful.
To be honest, my dreams for life, when I can stay awake long enough to dream them, are far bigger than connecting the world through perfectly designed mobile devices. They involve the God of the Universe, the Savior of the human race, and the people that he is lovingly drawing to himself.
The Lord's passions are good and perfect. His vision is one that I can get on board with. His work requires time, attention, thought, care, hard work. He inspires faithfulness and fosters creativity. He provides strength and courage to proceed.
Pray that we would not grow lazy or passive in the work we have been assigned to do.
Pray that we would engage in kingdom work, purposeful living, with faith, hope, love, joy, focus, grace. Not to earn our salvation. But to live fully as a result of it.
This is something worth staying awake for.
Lesson(s) Learned (from Steve Jobs): Focus intently on a few things, rather than a million. Commit to making your output excellent, rather than quick and mediocre. Simplify everything. Then simplify it again.