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 other’s 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.
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 – 2011)
What would you do if you were limitless? What would you create? What do you feel called to change in a borderless world?
This month I’m reading the biography of Steve Jobs, and at only 15% through (Kindle, why no page numbers?) the overwhelming inspiration for me in this book is his famed ‘distortion of the reality field’. It seems that through his practice of Zen mediation and I with some wiring provided by mother nature, Steve didn’t see limitations for himself or for others. No doubt this can be a double edged sword but if used for good, it can be life altering. How else to explain the creation of the iPod, iPhone and iPad?
Here is the story that is sticking with me right now. Steve had an engineer working for him, Bill Atkinson, who was responsible for inventing a way for the’ windows on a screen to overlap so that the “top” one clipped into the ones “below it”. Creating on our desktop the feel that we have a stack of papers that we are shuffling through. Incredibly, of course, your document isn’t really underneath; the computer doesn’t pixalate in layers. Mr. Atkinson created a code that allowed this illusion and would call up a document with a click using a format called ‘regions’. How did this idea even come to be? Atkinson had seen a demo at Xerox PARC of a think tank prototype and thought he had seen that feature. When the Apple was released with this capability the think tank folks at Xerox PARC were amazed because they had never accomplished it. He says:
“I got a feeling for the empowering naïveté”, Atkinson said. “Because I didn’t know it couldn’t be done, I was enable to do it”
This story has completely inspired me. Not to invent something, but it has inspired me to think about how and where I define my world. Where do I decide I can’t? Bill Atkinson was empowered to create regions because he didn’t know you couldn’t. He thought it already existed and he just had to discover the road someone else had already walked. This thought is a revolution for me. How easy life looks if I think I can get to whatever place in my life I want because I just have to see the path and the opportunities. They are already there.
My son was telling me today about learning to do a new skateboard trick and how he kept bailing on this one jump because he wasn’t sure he could do it. As a mom, I’m glad he has a helmet and some sense. As a human being, I thought “to do things, we have to believe we can first.” When I teach voice I chase my students about singing high notes as a state of mind almost as much as a technical feat. If you doubt, you cack. Or in my son’s world, if you doubt, you crash your jump.
Where in your life is it time to open up to what is possible instead of what’s ‘real’?
How are you a co conspirator in “what’s real’?
What if the solution is right there, you just haven’t uncovered it yet?