Trailblazers 101 – Follow Your Heart

Steve Jobs announced his resignation as Apple’s CEO yesterday. He asked to remain as Chairman and the board quickly agreed. I, for one, am thrilled that one of the most successful trailblazers of our time will stay on. Aren’t you?

Full disclosure: although I was late to the game, I’m now a total  Apple geek and proud of it. Why? Apple products work. They’re beautiful. And they’re fun. Work can be both productive and fun. Who knew? Thank you, Mr. Jobs.

I don’t know Steve Jobs. Never met the man, and probably never will. But I admired what he’s done with his life and his gifts long before I bought my first iPhone. Jobs is living proof that what matters most is not the circumstances into which you were born, but how you live.

He’s made no secret of his views on How to Live Before You Die. If you haven’t seen this video of his Stanford University commencement speech, please watch. One way to achieve great things in this world is to learn from great people who have already done something you admire. Steve Jobs certainly qualifies, don’t you think?

Jobs has been called The Patron Saint of Perfectionists, which is a euphemism for a driven guy who puts perfection above comfort — his own and others. He’s been called mercurial, demanding, relentlessly driven. Most trailblazers are thus described. Many people don’t appreciate such determined focus and the impassioned temperament that often comes with it. Many folks are satisfied with “good enough.” Steve Jobs, obviously, is not.

Be honest: As a consumer, wouldn’t you rather have a product that works perfectly, looks great, and gives you pleasure as well as functionality and great service? Or would you rather have something produced by a “nice person” who thinks their product is “good enough”?


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Revenge: The Sue Grafton Way

Sue Grafton said she wrote her breakout novel, “A is for Alibi” to fulfill revenge fantasies during a bad divorce. Sue once told me that it saved her sanity to “kill the dude!” She’s now releasing her 22d Kinsey Millhone mystery, “V is for Vengeance,” which leads me to believe she’s still using this technique quite profitably. Reading mysteries and […]

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Do you see what we see?

Ability to grasp the obvious is an essential life skill. Failure to perceive can be fatal. Or, as Judge Willa Carson says, “You never see the bullet that gets you.” It’s no wonder then, that it took me a while to grasp why artists on two continents chose mysterious eyes to adorn my novel covers. […]

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