A few years ago, five or six I think, we conducted focus groups for a project. The goal was to create an identity for a place. We invited people from all industries and varying levels of authority. Arts leaders and waitstaff, retirees and college students, people we’d never met and people we’ve known all our lives. The conversations were spirited and the opinions were not always the same.
We were in maybe the 4th focus group and someone sat forward in their chair and said, “I don’t really care about the specifics of what it looks like or which area it may be most closely related to, all I ask, no, all I beg, is that it be aspirational. Make this about where we are going, who and what we could be, not just what is expected or what is already there.”
The news of Steve Jobs stepping down has me thinking. He has no doubt been a polarizing figure in some people’s eyes, for others he has been a virtual mentor, someone we’ve tried to emulate. Whether you are a Mac person or not, whether you have loved him or loathed him, he has dared to be aspirational and as such, he can be motivation.
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 others’ 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.
Yesterday I paused, today I am looking ahead and realizing I need to let my voice be stronger and my heart bolder. Tonight we colored with crayons and flung hula hoops at the night sky, tomorrow we’ll chase new dreams and go to sleep ragged and content from the pursuit so that in the morning we can again, wake hungry and unafraid of being foolish.