“The time we have is not defined by us; what we do with what are given is — make a conscious choice and make a difference.”
With all the tributes, information, and commentary shared through the passing of Steven Jobs, one couldn’t help take notice on the significant contributions he made in all walks of life. Here was a man who shaped the world of technology, ushered an entire generation into a new frontier, and inspired just about anyone who would listen. And, in the period of 48 hours – from Tuesday until Thursday – he went from a respected, revered leader to an iconic legacy.
Death is the ultimate, unknown deadline. For death marks the beginning of the end of our ability to influence and innovate. While our contributions can live on long after we are gone, what we do while we are here is the essential ingredient to our impact and influence. The most essential aspect of our existence is defined by what we do with the time we are given. The time allotted for our life’s contributions do not have a definitive deadline like a homework assignment; rather, we have no idea when our final report is due – meaning we better be working on our assignment every single day of the rest of our life.
Contributions, like those of Steven Jobs, are gifts. The greatness of the gift is not measured for the purpose of improving our stature, our legacy, or solidifying our standing in history – the greatness of our gifts are measured in the humility with which we use, share, and apply those skills and abilities we have been blessed with. We have a tremendous opportunity to freely, willingly, completely, or responsibly share our unique gifts and talents with those who need what we have to offer. We have the ability to take advantage of the time we have been given to apply and develop our unique abilities and offer them to others for their benefit.
It is always a loss when a talented person is no longer around to inspire, guide or lead us. However, it is a greater tragedy when someone who has the ability to offer their wonderful talent and skills fails to share them before their time runs out.
Many of our lives exist in the middle of chaos. It seems as though so much of what we deal with can be more overwhelming and challenging that we can manage. The idea of being accessible for others and of giving and sharing our greatness with those around us is may be asking more of what we believe we are capable of or willing to do. In reality, it is the collaborative process of sharing, of making your skills and gifts accessible, and in embracing and believing in what you have to offer the world around you is what is going to make your life better. For in giving, sharing, collaborating, and being you will find the joy, the energy, and the opportunity you so desperately desire for your life.
The opportunity to be great at a time when people need you most is now. I encourage you to get busy being who you were meant to be and to celebrate the experiences that come with it. More importantly take advantage of the time you have for you never know when you it will run out.