“Steve Jobs” is my new favorite verb. He was successful, definitive and inspiring. He changed the world, held fast to his principles and rocked the mock turtleneck. Whenever I find a person like that I want to look at their life and find the advice written into their actions or, in the words of Proverbs 19:20, "Listen to advice and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise."
When Steve Jobs walked into Apple after a brief hiatus in the 80s, the company was being pulled in a million directions. They were producing product after product with some that competed with each other and others that had no business being brought to market at all. They were scattered and stretched thin like to little jam on a big piece of toast.
As unbelievable as it sounds today, Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy. Each day, after keeping all their balls in the air, they didn’t have enough energy and resources to devote to what mattered most. I know exactly how that feels.
Too many times I have found myself with too much to get done and not enough time to even think about it. I have done a poor job at delegating and reaped the rewards in the form of a double-portion of stress.
The good news for Apple is that Steve Jobs returned with a vengeance. The story told in his brilliant biography is that he walked into a board room and drew a cross on the whiteboard. Above the two columns, he wrote: "consumer" and "pro," and beside the two rows he wrote: "desktop" and “mobile." He told those in the meetings that from the hundreds of listings they produced, they were now only going to make four products.
The rest is history. Apple’s laser-focus has allowed it to make really brilliant advances, upset major markets, and totally revolutionize how we live our life.
Which is, of course, what the Bible has been instructing me to do all along. In Ephesians, it says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
So, with the Bible as our guide and Steve Jobs as our template, what would it look like if we drew a big plus on a blank piece of paper at home? Across the top you might write “spouse” and “parent,” or “Being” and “doing” Then in the rows you write “Big Dream” and “Every day.” Simplify everything. Laser focus. What is most important now? What are you going to complete?
If you must add another column or row go ahead, but remember that the goal here is to help you stop some things and decide what belongs on the front burner because there is a secret to life that I discovered a long time ago: You cannot make time, you have to take time. But, that is another article altogether.
Go fourth and Steve Jobs your life!
I talked about this in church terms a while ago for UMCOM. Find out how to Steve Jobs your church here.
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