What Steve Jobs Can Teach Us About Passion & Purpose, Mike Lejeune


It’s not often that the death of someone touches as many lives as Steve Jobs. Reading comments on the Internet verify how countless people felt some type of connection to this technology wunderkind. The emphasis in commentary on the life-changing technical products does not reveal the way Steve effected our ability to feel a stronger sense of connection; possibly as much, if not more than Facebook. His gift to us was so much more than an iPod, an iPad, an iPhone or the genesis of the personal computer age. Steve forced us to think, to value creation, to recognize the importance of detail, and that beauty mattered as much as function. Discussions are rabid given the recent release of the movie Steve Jobs on his intensity collided with the lack of seeing the impact of his world through others eyes


The Earth lost a life force that I believe may have affected its rotational energy. I’m not sure if we are spinning with the same intensity as we try to make sense of a presence taken too early, before we could completely grasp its true depth or meaning. His legacy was marked for me last night when I heard a school teacher passionately describe the class she recently chose to teach: third grade. She declared that a world in which Steve was one of the chief architects, had just reached a tipping point. Children who are in the third grade are the first generation that will grow up in a totally digitized world. Digital processing of information is not only a norm but will be the core of every aspect of their life. I pondered her statement, waiting to take in its full impact.


Then it hit me, we have no answers of what it means. It is not a bad thing, a scary thing, nor a concept ripe with confusion or uncertainty towards the future. Steve Jobs set an example for us, screaming through his life like a shooting star, charting paths created by technology that allowed us to be captains of our dreams. He leveled the playing field by providing information to be distributed without prejudice to anyone willing to look toward what could be rather than what was.


Steve lived a life whose platform was based on asking questions. What if? How come? Why can’t we? His gift goes beyond technology, to the key we must teach our third graders: in order to be unafraid of what answers might be, we must be comfortable in asking questions and more importantly, to encourage those around us to do so as well.


Yes, Steve, the earth may have briefly shifted on its axis as we try to adjust to the void your absence will cause. But we thank you for leaving behind the key to a world you saw so clearly, by serving as an example of the power of pursuing the essence of who we are with passion and purpose. Well done.