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by Ricky Cohen
Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011 C.E.
Abraham 1813-1638 B.C.E
Noah 2704-1755 B.C.E
When a world class business leader dies, do we have an obligation to do something?
Should we dedicate a portion of the time we share as families to an understanding of his/her life and accomplishments?
Should we take the time to understand the thought processes that enabled his extraordinary success – the way we would for a great thinker, religious or political leader?
Should his work be studied by us as individuals, the way it will be studied by historians and business professors?
Our opportunity in life is to build ourselves, further the unveiling of creation and the development of humanity. With that in mind, anyone who helped further that process should be studied, and we and our children should make their life lessons our own.
So the obvious answer to the above is: Yes!
The recurring terms noted in the description of the life and accomplishments of Steve Jobs were: Hunger, Foolishness, Passion and Patience. I struggled with those terms because I wanted to understand them as clearly as I could, so I would have the opportunity to share them with others.
To be “Hungry” and “Foolish”:
Are most people “hungry” to succeed, achieve and grow?
My experiences with the people I’ve met in my life, tells me yes, certainly. Most men and women – young and old, have a wanting to achieve, to master, to improve. It’s an expression of the will endowed by our Creator and articulated when man came into being: “To fill our world and master it”.
It’s the “foolish” part that’s more challenging! Foolishness in the context of an entrepreneur means: Confidence, self-belief, daring and risk orientation. The number of people in this category is more limited. The “foolishness” Steve Jobs is talking about is: Acknowledging the risks and adversities in the new business or other effort a person is considering – understanding the seriousness of those risks, and still making the effort.
Foolishness, in this context, is not born of ignorance – it is born of courage! It’s not a function of immaturity – it’s a function of intelligent understanding, coupled with serious belief in oneself and life. Foolishness, daring, or intelligent risk taking is the greatness of Abraham – and the near greatness of Noah. To put your faith in something – and burn the bridge behind you – the “Abraham Method”, is the foolishness that makes for greatness. It is that which is demanded of each of us so that life is lived rather than passed through – so that the pages of one’s existence are torn and re-mended memorably. It’s about fear, uncertainty, and all of the other uncomfortable things that make for success and notoriety.
The foolishness of Abraham and of Noah is being celebrated thousands of years after each one lived. Steve Jobs will be celebrated and studied for decades – if not a century – for his unparalleled achievements. Foolishness is the common thread. We each have to look at our own “Foolishness Meter”.
And then there were the two final terms: “Passion” and “Patience”.
“Passion” is the tool with which you identify where your foolishness must play out – for what, in what area, should your risk taking be focused. The passion of Noah and Abraham was called out by their Maker through prophecy – ours is called out as well. The difference is that today prophecy is subtle and intuitive. It resides in your gut and your heart – as they whisper their yearning to your mind. These thoughts and feelings are no less an expression of each individual’s truth than a divinely inspired vision or the three dimensional prophecy of angels/messengers.
A prophecy could be misunderstood or ignored – as can the passion that emanates from the individual to himself. As the new year moves forward it’s a good time to do a passion check and make sure that your passion is clear to you and is happening for you.
And finally: Patience – the most difficult and serious of all.
“I’m hungry and foolish, and I know where I want it to go. It took honesty, courage and a lot of panicked moments but I know what I want and I’m committed to achieving it. Now you want me to be patient?” As my 5 year old grandson Elliot would say: “Are you kidding Papa?”
The answer is No. The average overnight success is a 15-17 year effort – thousands and thousands of hours (have a look at the career of Steve Jobs, read The Outlier’s, or study the lives of Abraham and Noah). A long term plan, commitment to process, and a near worshipping of detail, are the elements that make for a patient – and therefore successful execution.
There are many types of great men and women – some we revere and emulate, and some we respect and learn from. Hunger, foolishness, passion and patience are the threads that connect them all.
Republished from www.rickyandme.org