A daily attitude email from a few years ago (2012!).
One last lesson I learned from the Steve Jobs biography.
He was mean.
High school bully mean. Three year old throwing a tantrum mean. Flat out mean.
He would yell and scream at employees, waiters and waitresses and pretty much anyone.
I came to two conclusions after listening to some of the stories.
First, it is not my place to judge. I am not the decider of how “good” or “bad” of a person he was or whether or not he “deserved” any of the good things that happened in his life. In fact, it reminded me of a quote from Abraham Lincoln that says something to the effect of “I can’t judge another man because If I had his genetics and his experiences, I would act in the exact same way.”
Second, regret is a bitter pill to swallow. While he may never have admitted it in any meaningful way, I believe that he regretted treating people this way. Listening to the book, you could almost hear this through the stories and quotes from Steve.
Despite all of his success and money and fame, he had regrets. And not little ones like “I should have had the tuna for lunch”, but large, daunting regrets like “Maybe I shouldn’t have treated my daughter that way.”
I finished the book convinced that negativity is bad for the soul and that no amount of other success in life will fill the gaping holes left by treating others poorly.
My sincere hope is that we all look at things like this as a wake up call.
Who could you be nicer to today?
Who do you want to spend more quality time with today?
Who needs that call from you today to brighten up an otherwise dreary day?
Make that call. Smile and give that person a hug. Take the extra 5 minutes to read one more book to the little ones.
It makes a difference. For them certainly, but more importantly, for you.