Dear Steve: We will miss you, the world has lost the ultimate inventor, innovator, and shining light of what can be. You told us to “Think Different” and showed us what was possible if we did. To those who said it couldn’t be done, you did not only tell them it could be done, no, you showed them and then continuously improved upon it. To say you changed things is the greatest understatement. You’ve changed the world and your influence will be felt for perhaps the rest of mankind’s existence. Thank you for everything! Rest in peace.
In one way or another I think we all have been affected and touched by Steve Jobs. But there’s something so mysterious about him that confuses, yet amazes, even those who were close to him.
Who quits college only to attend courses he was interested in? Who can think up so many ideas that change the way nearly everyone does things? Who needs a fourth grade teacher to bribe him with cash to get his work done and calm down?
Someone brilliant, someone given a chance!
There’s been speculation for years that Steve Jobs had ADHD. But many discount this because he’s so intelligent and able to actually ‘get things done’. However, so many of the greatest names in today’s world and throughout history are thought to have had ADHD, or, are actually diagnosed with ADHD. Some call ADHD a disease, a plague and a gift of certain doom to anyone who has it. But even those who say such things are at a loss to explain why so many of the greatest inventors and innovators seem to have or had it. After all, by all rights, they should fail. It’s almost as though some want people to fail with ADHD merely so they can point to it and say how bad it is. I think the key for people with ADHD is that they will fail if they are forced by themselves or, by others, to do things and to think in ways which are accepted as the ‘norm’ and if they don’t they are defective (or genius). It’s a fine line.
ADHD is challenging, clearly it is. However, Steve’s message through Apple’s motto is clear: “Think Different”. It seems to me that people with ADHD who find their ‘own’ personal way of doing things and allow themselves to think outside the box have the greatest chances of not only succeeding, but changing things for a lot of people in great, fantastical ways – ways in which others have said “It can’t be done!”
Clearly, a lot of what Steve Jobs has done and the way he did it, indicates that he might have had ADHD. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple because he clashed with the way John Sculley did things and that Steve Jobs was ‘difficult to manage’, but we all know how that eventually turned out and Steve Jobs was brought back to save the company. In hindsight John Sculley thinks Steve should have actually been the one in charge and things may have gone differently. Hindsight is always 20 -20. I think this happens quite often for people with ADHD because they do things so differently, and even if they are successful their ways just seem ‘wrong’ to observers, but later when no one is able to do those ‘things’ as well, or are not capable of keeping up, they find out that their ADDer way of doing things might not have been so ‘wrong’ after all, just, well, different. However, not everyone gets the second chance Steve Jobs got and that is also why so many don’t want others to even try to use their uniqueness or different way of thinking.
Few may know this:
A fourth grade teacher, Imogene Hill, who Jobs described as “one of the saints in my life,” helped tame his rambunctiousness – partially by bribing him with cash if he’d finish his work, according to Anthony Imbimbo’s biography written for young adults, Steve Jobs: The Brilliant Mind Behind Apple. Original article here.
How many teachers would do that today? How many children with ADHD would be so fortunate to have a teacher with the time and insight to do such a thing? Okay, bribing children to finish their work isn’t something too many are going to agree with, especially with cash, but what if this fourth grade teacher had instead punished him, or threw him out of the class, or something else? Steve was a boy who struggled, too. I have discovered when checking backgrounds of people with ADHD who have become successful that many have similar experiences with someone who went against the norms to assist them. Something similar happened for me in second grade when I was placed in a special education class for reading and writing, and was fortunate enough to have a teacher who saw the potential within me and helped me learn how to use it. I think it says a lot when such teachers find that ‘good’ within even the most rambunctious or seemingly ‘lost’ children.
There’s another aspect about people with ADHD that goes even more against the norms of today’s world. Most of what someone does who has ADHD cannot necessarily be copied. Steven Jobs was brought back to Apple because they could not continue to be as inventive or creative without him. He had that X-factor which was not replicable and never will be. Today’s world is about ‘standards’ – things that can easily be replicated or copied and used by the masses; therefore, when someone does things that are so unique they are often at a disadvantage. If it can’t be teachable and replicable then its worth is limited, and that’s what a lot of us fall for and give in to. Steve Jobs didn’t, he did not compromise and he was willing to live on the streets if necessary and that’s something which is astounding and so difficult to comprehend.
We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here? ~Steve Jobs
It’s clear, there will never be another Steve Jobs. He was uniquely, Steve. Did he have ADHD? I do not know and only a diagnosis would prove that anyone has ADHD, even if there are so many things about him that seem to indicate so. But, aside from ADHD, Steve was courageous, willing to go to places no one else would, or even, could, go. I will miss him, and I thank him for pointing the way by ultimately being himself and not what others may have wanted him to be.
RIP Steve Jobs, you will be missed.