On a hot, July afternoon in New Jersey, 2008, I found myself sitting at an outside restaurant table with a former coworker who just couldn’t stop drowning her self-loathing in bottle after bottle of Coppola Merlot.
We both worked in pharmaceutical marketing; she as an account manager, me, well…I’ll only ever be a “creative.”
As she alternated between sips and complaints, I picked up my iPhone and began to take a sort of emotional stand.
I tapped out a manifesto.
Over 3 years later, I find myself periodically returning to it. On those days when I realize that I’m allowing myself to be held hostage by an industry that makes little sense to me, I pull it out and read it, and take baby steps away from it. But baby steps aren’t strides.
Suffice it to say, in light of the passing of Steve Jobs, I went back again. And it’s time to make real headway.
Steve lived his life unapologetically, by all accounts.
It’s beyond time I started.
I share this with you as a way to keep myself honest. And I encourage you to make some clear decisions of your own, if you haven’t already. Take Steve’s advice:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
july 20, 2008
- Never allow yourself to be put in a position where success is measured by how well you do what you’re told to do
- Come and go as you please
- Be well paid for your knowledge and the quality of your language
- Be recognized as a leader or authority, but bear no responsibility for the production of a finished product
- Express your view passionately and unrestrainedly
- Be associated with Beauty and to call attention to beauty
- Be disassociated from bureaucracy and the stricture of legally-approved interaction with others.
- What relationships you have must be based on simplicity and clarity
- Only surround yourself with those who insist upon the joy of free, creative exploration. Refuse to subject your core creative self to limited, linear thinkers.