Steve Jobs has passed away and the entire world was saddened by the demise of this great man. What makes him so revered as compared to those who passed away in the same day? Is it because he made a difference in your life indirectly? Is it because he created a lot of value in the society? How did having iPods, iPhones and iPads add positivity to your life?
I used to think I need to find a passion in my life where I would dive into it day and night, and I will live happily. I have been trying to find it but still unsuccessful so far. I have a vague idea but something is still amiss. Jobs said, “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
“Passion – a strong enthusiasm for a (specified) thing; an aim or object pursued with strong enthusiasm. ~ Oxford Dictionary”
I read the book, “The Purpose Driven Life”. The author said that we need a mission in life. Something we will do for humanity and devote our life to it, making a contribution to the society as such. I also remembered Dale Carnegie asked us to think about our funeral and what would we want our eulogy to be? What do we want to be remembered for?
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“Purpose – a thing to be done; an object to be attained, an intention, an aim. Or the action to do something; resolution, determination. ~ Oxford dictionary”
“Mission – an act or instance of sending someone or something, to perform some function or service ~ Oxford dictionary”
At work, I was supposed to prepare some material for an important visit. My boss told me there was a message to be sent to this VIP and asked me to craft the content as such. I have learned in my work that pushing out a plan or policy involves selling a central idea, or a message. Always ask what is the message I want to deliver. I think it is very applicable to my life – what is my message in life?
“Message – the carrying of a communication; a mission, an errand ~ Oxford dictionary”
Every successful person in this world had a message to this world. Although not explicitly stated, you would have a rough idea. Steve Jobs’ message is that IT products can be revolutionalised and make our lives better. Gandhi’s message is that we can achieve more with less violence. Michael Jackson’s message is that pop music and dance can be entertaining. Even companies have messages. McDonalds’ message is that food can be delivered fast without compromise in standards. Nike’s message is that you need to work out to have a better life. Coca Cola’s message is that cola is enjoyable and refreshing.
Once you have a message, you would want to send it to as many people as possible. The message can be delivered through a product or a service. That is why successful people are rich. They created value for the society. The more people you served, the greater your wealth will be. Your message does not need to be grand. For example, a hawker’s message can be that chicken rice is delicious. And he will work passionately to make chicken rice as delicious as it can be, and convince as many people as possible to try it. If the chicken rice is really delicious, people will enjoy it and the process itself added happiness to them and the chicken rice hawker.
If you think that I am encouraging entrepreneurship, please do not get me wrong. You can also carry your life’s message as an employee. You can be happy working as long as your life’s message and the company’s message are aligned. The problem with most of us is that we are blinded by money. We want to do the job that paid the most. And then we will slog and complain about work everyday. For the middle class, I don’t think we lack money. It is the desire for a higher standard of living and greater material wealth that gave us the idea that we do not have enough money. We are working for the wrong reason. We are exchanging our lives for the wrong purpose.
I would like to quote Steve Jobs again,
“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.”
We need to find our individual messages in life. We need to find our voice, no matter how little. We need to make a contribution to this world, no matter how small. Only in this way, we will live a purposeful life and pass on with no regrets.
[PS: If you ask me what is my message, I would say I do not have a clear idea at this point in time. Roughly, it would be that you can become wealthy by applying the right knowledge.]