“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, heart and intuition.”
We often are faced with the choice either to line up behind the spirit of the age or behind what is persistently real, age to age. Which way does the quotation above by the creative genius, Steve Jobs, point?
I love my iPhone, but his blanket rejection of dogma may itself be the chief dogma of the American Baby Boomer. How ironic. It reminds me of teenage “non-conformists” who dress alike. Do we really need to dismiss everyone else’s thinking in order to do our own?
Every one of us depends upon some kind of doctrine or dogma, whether it’s the new-and-true or the tried-and-true. Carl Sagan said, “If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, then you must first recreate the universe.” Let’s not assume we set ourselves free by rejecting outside voices.
Jobs consistently broke molds. So did Bach in his day. But Bach’s attitude was different. He considered his own genius to be more about discovery than invention. In his humility, Bach thought of his creativity as a process of exploring what is persistently true.
Steve Jobs’s great goal was to “make a ding in the universe.” Bach’s great goal, as he wrote on each of his manuscripts was, “Soli, Deo, Gloria.” (To the glory of God). Each has given us creative treasures. Each was driven.
What’s you muse? Are you driven more by vision or fear?