If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away. The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to say, “Bye. I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.” And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently.Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
“Passion is not something you follow. It’s something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world.”Cal Newport
Passion is something you discover after the work has been done. You can’t possibly know what you’re passionate about without experimenting first.
You may have an idea about what you like. That’s a good start. Now put it into practice and then ask yourself the tough questions:
- Are you naturally good at it? If so, are you likely to get bored?
- If you’re not a natural, is this something you can get good at with time and patience? Do you like it enough to persist?
The above questions are essential to discovering whether or not you’re actually enthusiastic about something.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.Steve Jobs
Passion emerges through a diversity of experiences that allow one to tie it all altogether. A beginner’s mind, an open mind — are essential ingredients to railing against monomaniac passions that keep you in one place.
If you have an idea, test it. Test it not just to see if it works but also to see if it excites you and if it’s something really worth pursuing.
I realized why I need to start a new company. Not for the money. Not because I’m ‘bored’. But because a company is a laboratory to try your ideas.Derek Sivers
Figuring out what you love to do takes a combination of gut and experimentation. Like a frog hopping between lilypads, it may take a few jumps before you discover which vocation makes you feel most alive.
“I’m a big believer in boredom. … All the [technology] stuff is wonderful, but having nothing to do can be wonderful, too.”Steve Jobs
Boredom adds to the mystery of life. When we sit alone with our thoughts, the world breaks open. Nature comes alive. Time slows down and insights emerge from dormancy.
The ransacking of human attention has been virtually unstoppable ever since the iPhone came out. Technology makes us hyper-attentive all the time, so much that we end up paying attention to nothing at all. Mobile screens drown out the dull, mysterious thoughts and replace them with bytes of cotton candy.
Don’t get it twisted: the mind is alive and well, especially when it has nothing to do.
art via davidmichaelchandler
“We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us,” said philosopher Marshall McLuhan. Twenty years ago today, Steve Jobs released the original iMac. I own the exact one Steve Jobs presents on stage. And he’s right, the back is still just as beautiful as the front.
Writes The Loop:
The original iMac popularized technologies like USB in computers, and help end others like the floppy drive. I remember being so happy to see Apple go back to its all-in-one roots with the iMac, but they did so much more than copy an old idea.
Apple reinvented what it meant to have a computer. It wasn’t a beige box you hid under your desk; it was an atheistically pleasing piece of your home or workplace that people were eager to show off. That philosophy has been with iMac for the last 20 years.
People have asked me over the years what is my favorite iMac. I have to say its the original because I believe it saved the company. That gave Apple the room to invent iPod, iPhone, MacBook and all of the other products. Without iMac, Apple would not be the company it is today.
You can watch the presentation in its entirety below:
Product designer and mechanical engineer Tamiko Thiel turned computers into sculptures in the early 1980s before the Macintosh came out. Said Thiel:
“The general image of computers was IBM computers, racks of electronics. They looked like refrigerators or heating units. They didn’t have any identity”
Years later she found out that Steve Jobs wanted to hire her to design the NeXT computer. But she had already gone on to Germany to be an artist.
Nevertheless, her geometric reinterpretation of the computer continues to inspire the modern yet futuristic hardware designs we see in iPhones and gadgets today.
The Connection Machine machine now features in MOMA’s exhibition Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age, 1959–1989.
There inevitably comes a time when our ideas, no matter how prolific, become extinct and get replaced by new ones. Just look at the emergence of autonomous cars. Writes former product head of General Motors Bob Lutz:
“The auto industry is on an accelerating change curve. For hundreds of years, the horse was the prime mover of humans and for the past 120 years it has been the automobile.”
There will always be a niche of traditionalists that want hands-on control, just as people still prefer to read hard books, string a brilliant guitar riff, and think with their hands in writing analog.
But the volcano of ideas are all digital. As Lutz quips: “I think probably everybody sees it coming, but no one wants to talk about it.”
There is no cart, there is no horse, there is no wheel. As Steve Jobs once discovered in Scientific American: “The man riding a bicycle was twice as good as the condor.” Humans build tools to maximize efficiency.