“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.”
It was a Facebook status update that alerted me of the news of the death of Steve Jobs, former CEO and Founder of Apple, Inc. Being only 56 years old, passing after a fight with pancreatic cancer, and possessing the qualities of a true visionary, it was not difficult for me to connect the dots between his life and that of my Father, Willem Plaat. Truth be told, Dad did many things that could have been considered as steps of a visionary. Many years before Apple ever came out the their “i” branding; iMac, iPad, iPhone, etc., my Dad called one of his first companies “iDesign”. They were clearly many galaxies apart in terms of their measure of success, but they definitely shared common themes in their mindset, determination, and battles in life.
Upon reading the news, I decided to revisit a video that left a heavy impression on me, being the Steve Jobs commencement speech to Stanford University, titled “How to Live Before You Die” link here.
It was difficult to watch the entire video and maintain dry eyes. It sparked in me the reminder that our lives are very short, and that it’s our obligation and duty to chase after our dreams, visions, and first loves – as well as doing what is needed to discover what these are.
Since moving to Dallas, there have been quite a few days that have been far less than spectacular; a drop in business, the reality of moving to a new city and barely knowing a soul, an uneventful birthday, and several piercing moments where I began to question and dig into what it was that I wanted to make of my life. Do I have what it takes to chase my dreams? Do I know what these dreams are?
This afternoon, I received a call from my older sister, Lydia, who had experienced a very rough day while at her final internship to help complete her degree as a Nurse Practitioner. She’d been getting mistreated by a doctor, and had simply had it up to her neck with frustration. I did my best to encourage her to continue, as well as remember that life is not obligated to be peachy keen. Speaking to her, I realized how many of the words I was speaking needed to be directed to myself, rather than to her. So I sent her a video message, reading the story “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seusss.
The older you get, the more you appreciate certain children’s stories by Dr. Seuss.
Today has been a reminder that our lives are quite limited. In addition, its been a fresh reminder that throughout every single battle, a victory is possible. Every dark moment can give way to brightness. And even the fiercest storms can grow plentiful crops.