We Dare Not Speak It’s Name (Jobs)

Let’s talk about jobs, ba-by, let’s talk about your, iden-tity.

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A Bang Up Job

When I think about Jobs as a product, comfort immediately comes to mind. Next, would probably be security and consistency of everyday use. If I can have less anxiety, more fun, and don’t have to worry about over-performing or under-performing, the convenience factor is high, and I’m on board. I get to live my day-today with relative ease and simplicity. Yes, when it comes to Jobs I feel like my opinion is part of a landscape and repercussions are minimal. In an era when people struggle with technology uncertainty, Jobs give you a path to take and a way to get there. Fortune, gratitude, luck, these are all synonymous terms for that ideal.

Now, I bet you thought I was talking about the person for a minute there, dear readers.

No not really. I wasn’t aiming for a post on Steve Jobs, though I could make a Wisdom Wednesday post or two about him. Just like everyone else has at one point or another.

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And to be clear, this is most certainly NOT a politically motivated post, I just wanted to get an association down for you. Who do you think achieved more? Steve Jobs or Dennis Ritchie? A question to ponder for sure…

As we continue to develop the series of posts about OECD, on the importance of health and well-being, the ranking factor of your job was bound to come up.

Inside Job

Let’s be honest.

You probably want to quit your day job, because your boss is a jerk, you’re sick of what your department does to address employee morale and wages, you don’t believe in the company visions, at all, and you’ve been doing this for well more than five years without much opportunity for growth and skill set expansion.

If that’s true, then you’re in luck. Because I have a few theories on your job that I’d like you to mull over.

Many people get this crazy idea in their heads that if a job is unfulfilled, that if you hate your job, it means you should quit and find another. Or maybe go back to school. Or finally start that personal business you’ve dreamt of for the past decade. And that’s quite a problematic view to hold.

A job is primarily an aspect of your career.

Maybe that’s confusing – let’s consider the definition of the word career. A career is a multi-faceted identity vehicle for an individual’s journey through life, especially as it relates to work and learning. Or in other words, a career is a person’s lifework that consists of occupations, educations and as a focus within a certain area of industry.

Surely it can be invaluable to start a business when you get fed up, but that purpose shouldn’t only be about your personal gratifications. You need to have drive, a real passion, and then build out a model to accomplish the purposes of that career you’ve laid out for yourself – getting another job could move you forward as well. An idea of success is not enough, you have to put in the blood, sweat, and tears. Never quit your day job only because you have a new idea or are sick of your work environment.

There is this really dumb idiom out there that says the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. We often rely on friends and family to supply is with support or advice on a number of different topics but bitching about work is a popular one.

Consider idea this for a moment, that friend giving you advice might not respect your industry or they be shelling out advice based on their limited understanding of your situation, but how could they possibly predict all the details of your life – you CAN keep your job and find fulfillment in other avenues or to pay for future benefits.

Career VS Job

To summarize this idea let’s quickly look at a chart which I found online. It’ll be a quick read, I promise.

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If you begin to look at your creative work as a career, you can begin to see how a series of different jobs might help you achieve your goals and stay on purpose dear readers, so as the old adage goes, don’t quit your day job. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change the day job every now and again, and even invest in passive income(s). Though that could just be another theory.

Tim!

 

The Secret Genius (Attitude Is Everything)

You want to be like Steve Jobs right?

Well, get in line dear readers.

Seriously though, a lot of people want to emulate the persona of Steve Jobs because he will always be remembered as a genius. That’s the way it is with great people; those visionaries and leaders who appeared at the right time and the right place and made it happen for themselves and conveniently for the world as well.

But what if I told you there is a theory floating around that geniuses don’t just appear?

That geniuses are a culmination of several factors? For instance, they are made up of things like genes, personality, ambition, environment, and effort.

Well you’d probably laugh at me.

Haha, you’re too funny timotheories, you think you know so much about theories and now you’ve finally proven that you don’t know jack!

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Well hold up there aggressive little buddy, I’m still in the process of making a point, and you are just being rude. So please keep your comments until the end of the lecture.

Let’s address the problem of effort first. There have been studies done which indicate that major breakthroughs, whether in the arts or sciences, only appear that way to the casual observer, when in reality it takes time, effort, and energy to produce mastery of skill(s). In other words, when you can understand the rules intimately, then you are capable of bending or breaking them.

Also consider that specialization totally kills creativity because you are operating within a limited palette while looking at nothing other than the subject in front of you.

Ambition and a healthy desire to discover need to be present.

Which leads us into my next point.

Whatever your conviction, you need to ask a ton of questions: which is another way of saying, keep your mind sharp. Go to the library and take out books on a variety of topics, then grab some audio books on language, and sign up for a course or a program. It doesn’t matter if you are getting a diploma, certification, accreditation or doctorate. Exercise your mind.

That also includes physical exploration by spending time in nature or on a retreat.

But what about your genetics/personality? If those are fixed then genius is limited to those born with certain traits. Yes, those details definitely make up a part – but if you are open to experiences, driven, aggressive and can learn to look inwardly, you have just found some qualities that will help get you there, and can be learned. Interestingly enough, environment can play a role too in that progression.

Educational institutions that teach us to learn something from whatever we focus on can aid in this process, which can often be uncovered in post-secondary. This article very briefly touches upon it, but essentially the idea proposed is that cultures which encourage new forms of teaching and education foster risk-taking and that is where genius can appear, when individuals or groups can focus their vision into expression.

But truthfully, no matter what your stage or status, we all have the basic blueprint needed to accomplish these steps. Environment is just one piece. Look at what Malcolm Cowley said about the subject,

Genius is vision, often involving the gift of finding patterns where others see nothing but a chance collection of objects.

Children naturally do pattern seeking that from the time they are born until it is slowly weeded out of them in adulthood. But if we can cultivate that curiosity as already mentioned and focus our efforts on the importance of openness to experiences, i.e. look objectivity, then we’ll be in a way stronger position to see things as they are, rather than how we have been conditioned to do so.

That is what genius is, focusing on your passion, applying knowledge and experience, and continuous and never-ending improvement of self as you live your life’s purpose. You’ll make a contribution to your area of purpose which no one else can, because of your unique perspective.

It just takes some re-training.

Which is why ultimately, attitude is everything. People think there is a secret to genius, it really comes down to attitude. If you are willing to put forth the right effort and combine it with the attitude that life is a process, not a goal, you’ll experience genius.

But what do you think? Please leave some comments and subscribe to support these posts! I’m out of theories for now.

Tim!

The Cult of Apple (Steve Jobs review)

Great men and women are always to fascinating to the world. It’s almost as if people expect that by analyzing them, they’ll get insight into how to achieve their level of success and become them, without doing any real work.

Almost cult-like behaviour.

How fitting, given this week’s movie review topic.

 

 

Steve Jobs (2015)
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen
Director: Danny Boyle
released on blu-ray February 16, 2016
******** 8/10

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IMDB: 7.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%, Audience Score 76%
The Guardian: ****/*****

Danny Boyle is an English stage and film director, producer, and screenwriter, with a spiritual atheist belief system. Raised in an Irish-Catholic home and in line for the priesthood until he was 14, Boyle was persuaded by a priest to consider a different path.

He decided to enter into drama and I think we are the better for it.

Boyle has directed Trainspotting, The Beach, 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, among others. His belief in the connection between theatre and spiritual expression has likely influenced his project choices, but let’s dig into the plot a bit to see what I mean.

The movie starts in 1984 California with a young Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) and his marketing executive Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet), discussing the failure the Macintosh computer demo is currently facing. Andy Hertzfeld (Michael Stuhlbarg) is also there and tells them it cannot say hello because they need special tools to open up the computer.

Joanna wants Steve to stay calm and lower his voice because a GQ journalist is present and could get them bad press. Steve not only wants the computer to say hello, he wants total darkness in the theatre to focus the audience attention, which is not allowed due to safety reasons with the exit signs. Joanna suggests delaying, but Steve says that a tech company MUST start on time.

Joanna and Steve go backstage. She tries again to convince him to leave out the voice command, but Steve needs it to show the world that computers are not scary, even though Hollywood says that they are. Joanna is also upset about the price tag and limited memory but Steve explains that the computer is intuitive and innovative. While discussing this, Steve finds boxes of TIME magazine, and is upset because he should have been Man of the Year, but the journalist didn’t like him. Joanna is more concerned about the fact the article mentioned Steve has an illegitimate daughter which reminds her that his ex Chrisann (Katherine Waterston) and daughter Lisa (Makenzie Moss) are there – He should go talk to them and calm Chrisann down.

Backstage, Chrisann and Steve start to fight and Joanna leads Lisa out of the room. Chrisann is upset that Steve implied she is a slut and slept with 28% of the population but Steve corrects her and say he is only 94% likely the father which means 28% of the population could be as likely. Lisa knows that Steve named one of the computers after her, but Steve tells her its coincidence. Chrisann knows Apple stock is up 441 million and yet she and Lisa are on welfare.

Enter cofounder Steve Woz Wozniak (Seth Rogen), who is wants recognition for the Apple II team in the speech, which Steve also brushes off later.

Steve wants someone to find a white shirt with a pocket so he can pull out a floppy disk. Joanna asks “why white?”, but Steve has an answer ready. He knows that the white will offset the beige of the computer casing. Andy comes back and tells Steve he still can’t fix the voice feature. Steve threatens Andy by telling him he will list of the the team of developers and each off their roles in the creation, and he will be the one team member with a feature that didn’t work.

What a good place to stop, just as the first act is about to end.

Pros: Much like the real life Steve Jobs, the film flows with genius and visually constructs the setting to showcase Fassbender in this role. Also like Fassbender the pace and the builder have you wondering if it’s going to work out, but it does.

Cons: We can tell that Steve Jobs was flawed, but we don’t get to see much more than that. It feels a little stiff and structured at times.

Runtime: 148 minutes

Points of Interest: Each of the acts were shot slightly differently. 1984 in 16mm. 1988 in 35mm, and finally digital to symbolize the development of Apple technology and focus of Jobs over the 16 year period. The shareholder meeting and product launch from 1984 was recreated at the original location of the Flint Center of De Anza Community College in Cupertino, California.

The movie features an excellent ensemble cast which is directed quite well by Boyle, but it might just be writer Aaron Sorkin who is organizing the details of the film. The film is structured in three acts, features a lot of standing and walking between actors, and elements of satire. This is what pulls you in and engages you with characterized Steve Jobs. It’s fun, thoughtful, and interesting, to say the least.

I wouldn’t ever accuse someone of belonging to the cult of Steve Jobs. I would accuse them of over-indulging in his personal philosophies and believing that the brand he built with Apple is capable of being peanut-buttered over anything. But that is often how it is with genius. We want to reach out and grab it, and hope that it will rub off on us.

Maybe a good lead-in for some wisdom tomorrow? I do have some theories after all.

Tim!