STEVE JOBS WAS INCREDIBLE… in his now famous Commencement Address at Stanford University on June 12 in 2005, Steve Jobs told his audience, “I’m going to tell you three stories”. His second story was all about Dealing with Adversity. He explained how at age 20 with his partner Steve Wozniak he started Apple Computers in his parent’s garage. “We worked hard and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in the garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees.” The problem was that in spite of all this incredible success… the next thing that happened was that Steve Jobs got fired! The corporate environment backfired and he was out of work at age 30. Mr. Jobs explained that as devastated as he was with this turn of events it was still very clear to him that “I still loved what I did“.
Because of that passion, that love… he started a company named NeXT followed by Pixar (“Toy Story“, etc.). Both wildly successful. So much so that Apple then bought NeXT and Steve Jobs was back on top! Sounds easy doesn’t it. We all know that it wasn’t easy, we all know that it was very painful. And as Steve said… “It turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could ever have happened to me”.
Here is your ACTION STEP… perhaps none of us can tell a story like Steve Jobs’ story but we all have our own stories that to us were equally devastating at the time. We have all had that moment in time when our heart almost stopped with the agony and disappointment of something painful and unexpected coming into our life. So how to deal with this tragedy when it shows up? Here’s was Steve Jobs approach:
1. Remember the very simple equation….E + R = O…(Events + Response = Outcome)
2. Know that the only one you can control is the middle one… Response
3. Give yourself time to grieve over the loss. Don’t make it too short and don’t make it too long.
4. Make sure your Response is designed to help you “move forward”. This should include some Action Steps for you to take.
5. Proceed with these Action Steps and be proud of who you are being. Be proud of your courage and your drive. The alternative is not acceptable.
Almost everyone who has gone through a devastating loss eventually is also able to say, “As it turns out, that was the best thing that could’ve happened to me”. As frivolous as it sounds, there is a lot of wisdom in the mantra that says, “things will work out… they always do“. Things happen in life that we don’t expect will happen to us. Things happen in life that don’t seem fair at the time. Remember the legacy that Steve Jobs left us and how he handled his adversity at age 30. He has been called the Einstein of our time. Clearly he left us many lessons… this may be the best one of all. NO Excuses.