Brain Food #654

The answer is shaped by us

Thoughts of the day

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death, a man whose work has largely shaped the world we live in today. His legacy was the impact of his work.

Though a notoriously controversial figure, Jobs was also highly insightful when it came to what mattered in life. His goal was always to focus and simplify, something reflected in the range and functionality of Apple products, even today.

But focus, according to Jobs, was largely about learning to say no.

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done."

— Steve Jobs

It is much easier to yield to the temptation of something new, of a shiny new toy, an appealing new opportunity. Sometimes, good things take time, and along the way momentum, and motivation, are lost.

And then there is, of course, the peril of choosing, the fork in the road. But perhaps we don’t know which idea, or path, is the best at the moment of choosing, simply because the answer is not there yet. The answer itself is shaped by us. An idea is just an idea. It is the execution - whether it happens, and how - that makes it worthwhile.


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