Saturday, October 08, 2011

Think again about Steve Jobs' quotes

Alan Jacobs alerted me to two blogs that commented on the famous Steve Jobs' graduation address, quotes from which have been doing the rounds since Jobs' death.  

Robin Hanson, on a blog called Overcoming Bias, wrote that Jobs' advice about not settling until you're doing what you really love isn't actually that practical in real world terms.  If that was the case, no one would get on and do the humdrum stuff, and unfortunately that still needs to be done, come what may. 

It's a bit like a lot of Seth Godin's blog posts: the idea that you can up and leave what you hate doing and go and find what you love doing.  The reality is that most of us have to do something that is 'normal' and do what we love in our spare time.

Will Wilkinson wittily commented further, both on Jobs' statements, and on Hanson's.  Sometimes those who have succeeded in life forget that many others just have to get on with it; they don't have the choices that hugely talented people - or hugely successful people - have.   It's just the way life is. 

I'm keen to do the things I love, but regrettably I've never been in a position to go for broke and do only the things I love.  So be it.  Contentment with your lot isn't too bad a thing, in many ways.

Incidentally, Jacobs also quotes another writer on Jobs, and the less savoury aspects of Apple's influence on the computer world.

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