I've been dealing with illness the last few weeks, probably due to the rather heavy pollen season here in South Carolina. Case in point: when I went to the grocery store on Wednesday, just about every cold and sinus product was completely sold out. So I've had a hard time focusing on technical things outside of work, as keeping my mind wrapped around such things during the work day has taken most of my energy. In times like these I still have to learn. It is a drive within me. And during these times I typically spend my hours reading and listening to ways to get better, to do things smarter, to be more efficient, and to simplify life. These are typically "big thinking" types of subjects, and the down time means I can mull over what I've taken in and see if it is worthy of being applied to my life. If it is, then the next step is to determine how to integrate it.
Something I heard recently has really stuck with me. But first let me give you a background on who said it:
- He was given up for adoption by his birth mother.
- His first set of potential adoptive parents rejected him because they wanted a baby girl.
- His adoptive father never finished high school.
- His adoptive mother never finished college.
- When his birth mother found out that his potential set of adoptive parents weren't college graduates, she originally refused to sign the paperwork.
- His adoptive parents promised her that he would go to college, though it would end up meaning they would have to save like crazy.
- He did go to college, but he dropped out.
This isn't exactly the way to start life on the right track, is it? However, the person in question is none other than Steve Jobs. And the words I'm about to quote he gave at the 2005 Stanford University Commencement. He joked it was the closest he ever came to a college graduation. Here's what he said:
"Do what you believe is great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do."
It's simple, really. Probably any of us could have come up with it. But the point is that Steve Jobs believes it. He has lived it and used it to overcome a bad hand which life dealt him. Are you doing what you love to do? If not, why are you wasting time not pursuing it?