I finally got around to watching the movie about Steve Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher as the founder of Apple Computers. I must say watching what Jobs accomplished in his time here on Earth made me wonder what the hell is wrong with me.
When talking about your life’s work, Jobs had some good advice …
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs
The photo above is of me back in 1996 holding awards I had won while sports editor at a small weekly newspaper in the town I grew up in. The job, one of the lowest paying in my career, was, by far, my favorite of all time. I WAS the sports department. I covered sporting events, banquets, took photos, wrote stories, edited stories, did page design, wrote headlines, and cutlines … basically, I did it all. I was given complete creative freedom to pretty much do what I wanted to do. All of this freedom and a year earlier, I had never worked for a newspaper before. I self-taught myself everything I needed to be a success.
Well, those days are long gone. Now, I have settled for comfort over substance and creativity. I wasn’t always down, depressed, and bitter. I used to love going to work every day. So much so, it probably played a part in my divorce. When I went to that newspaper office or a sporting event, etc., it wasn’t work to me. It was fun. It was a creative outlet. For a bried period, I got to feel what Jobs talked about in the love of your work.
People loved what I did and I loved doing it. It seemed to be a match made in Heaven. Well, I couldn’t live on peanuts my whole life, thus the creative side of me got shoved into a sock drawer where is has hidden out for the last twenty years.
As many of you know, corporate America is a place where creativity pretty much goes to die. Day after day of sitting in a beige box. Day after day of pounding away at a keyboard. Day after day of seeing the same invoices and the same expense reports.
I have continued back to college to finish a degree pursuit that I started in the late eighties. In a couple of weeks, this semester will be over and I will be just 21 credit hours short of my degree. Yes, it will be a degree in General Studies, but it will be a degree. Not sure if or how that will help me get out of the rut I have gotten myself into.
I would love to again have the love for what I do like I did back in the late nineties, but what would that be. Newspapers are in decline. Now, everyone thinks they are a photographer with the advent of the digital camera. So, what am I going to do to spark that “love” that I so long to find again? Not many people get a second chance at love, but I am hoping to be one of the lucky ones.
As Mr. Jobs said, “The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” I truly believe that this has been a HUGE missing piece in my life. Yes, I know, probably about 10 percent of people actually love what they do. So what. I want to be part of that 10 percent, damn it. Why not me?