I’ve lived a very odd set of circumstances where, at one point in my life, I knew of people who were trying to commit suicide. Only one actually went through with it but it made me very reflective. I don’t think it was that in particular that caused me to reflect; only that it put forth the question “why?”
Why did they do it? Why did they feel that pressured that they couldn’t go on? Why didn’t they feel like they could come to a friend? To me?
I make this comment now because I’ve been observing my surroundings and see more and more people unhappy with what they are doing. I see people who take on jobs they don’t necessarily like because they are good at them. I see people work because they need to feed their kids. I see those who go to work because they like their co-workers. But most seems to forget the one thing that the heart thrives off of and sears through the back alleys of your subconscious like a little beacon of comfort: passion.
Or maybe they didn’t forget; maybe they just don’t have the luxury to do so.
So when I watched “Jobs” with Ashton Kutcher, I saw something unfold. Something that goes beyond the life story of a peculiar man with a very conflicting personality. This was a man who fought nail and tooth for a vision that only appeared in his own mind. A man who knew what he wanted and physically and verbally bulldozed to get it. He was the genius who became a loose cannon when his expectations weren’t met with equal ambition and commitment.
And it made me wonder about all the people (myself included) who has ever been fired or turned down for a job. And those who have had to endure that over and over. And those who just can’t find that passion in a job. Steve Jobs’ mind was always searching to stretch farther than even the limits of imagination could take him. He was reaching way outside the box and poking holes in circles no one even knew were there.
But there were rock-bottom moments too. Getting shafted out of the company you built must have been the most disheartening thing to experience. Making it and then having it all get taken away. And if you get rejected often enough, it would be hard to feel like you are good at anything at all. And then you would feel like “What’s the use?” It is then that one can see how much of an option taking your life seems.
It is so easy to go down that path. That path that leads you into despair and conformity. To just settle and think that this is your lot in life. How easy it is to accept the hand that is dealt to you and not push yourself forward because inside you know that there is a challenge that you want to rise to meet. All because you do not want to ask yourself that one question: what makes me happy?
When asked about Bill Gates’ philanthropy, Jobs had said that Gates realized there was no point in “being the richest guy in the cemetery.” And passion, which is intense, giddy and most often times, laughed at, can burn like the ever-scorching sun and can drive a person to do the impossible.
All because passion, in all its glorious movement and energy, renders the word “impossible” into just that: a word.