A few days ago, I just finished writing a second draft of a little book about the philosophical underpinnings of the extraordinary success experienced by Apple founder Steve Jobs. Then I found out that this week a new book is being published about him, a biography that might correct some of the impressions we all had when reading Walter Isaacson's authorized tome. The new one is called Becoming Steve Jobs. And it promises a more rounded portrait of a man who didn't just scream at people, but was a more complex character who changed modern life for all of us. I look forward to it.
Then, hours later, I read an article about Elon Musk, the young developer of PayPal, Tesla cars, and SpaceX, a guy who's just started with his own entrepreneurial magic, and may be the real life version of comic book and movie character Tony Stark, better known as Iron Man. Elon has taught himself physics, astrophysics and many other things, while most of us where sitting on the sofa and watching The Voice or Modern Family.
I was once in one of Henry Ford's former homes right outside Detroit. The caretaker was talking to me about how Henry used to sit around with his buddies Thomas Edison and the tire guy Firestone and dream up new ways to change the world. What can we learn from such people?
We're not all world transforming visionaries. But we can all have visions for our lives and the world around us. We can accomplish more than we might suspect. And all that stands between us and the legacy we can create is habit, inertia, easy comfort, and distraction - all things that can be overcome with just a little effort.
We might not invent a new technology, or revolutionize industries, or fly people to Mars. But if we try, we can create more extraordinariness around us than we might ever have imagined. The magic is in us. That's why we're here. We just have to act like the pioneers we're meant to be, in whatever domain and on whatever level. Whether the results will get into the national papers and onto the covers of magazines isn't the test of our worth. We can feel whether we're doing what we're here to do. If you don't feel it, then give yourself the chance to dream and do. And then value your creative best by the right standards.