On Steve Jobs and his books

A view from the Self-Realization Fellowship at Encinitas, California

A view from the Self-Realization Fellowship at Encinitas, California

Despite my recent views on money, it is still necessary. One needs to work within the parameters of this world as it currently is, and that is still the currency (literally), the vehicle to get around.

So we still have to look at the pros (and I mean the professionals, those who made it) and their best practices.

There’s Warren Buffett, the superstar of personal finance.  We don’t know how he managed to thrive and survive the many financial meltdowns suffered by his generation (a clarification: it is ours too). His life is a testament to the reliability of having a process (look at the financial statements line by line, even the explanatory notes), following the process meticulously (buy, hold-for-a-long-time, sell), and then living simply. This guru/genius/chief, if it is to be believed, still lives in the house he bought in 1958. Isn’t that a wonder!

One other is Apple’s former CEO, the late Steve Jobs (1955-2011).

More than his acerbic nature (if it is to be believed) and his quotable quotes (stay hungry, stay foolish), very intriguing were the books that he read.

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Money

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

I have changed my mind about money. Which is counter-intuitive. After all, this blog was founded on that whole idea.

I knew there is a formula for making money and I was determined on finding out that formula.

Somehow, it was the secret of life that I found.

It concerns it, but it is not money.

Sure, money helps, but there’s a more basic truth/secret that everyone should know.

Money – it is man-made. It is not natural. It never used to exist.

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A month into the year

orange_harvest

Harvest Time

And a confession. I’ve always thought about a comeback.

I thought I had given up blogging, but it is a gift that keeps on giving. And one fine day, I thought, what would it take for me to go back?

Maybe it is the shedding away of a lot of responsibilities, a shedding away of writing as a career.

I was editor of a newspaper. Words were my life. Others’ words, some mine, but I was inundated with it that I wanted nothing to do with it.

The creativity was stifled somehow. Because of a perceived audience, because of being careful, because of what cannot be said, because of what should be said.

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Christmas

Christmas thoughts

Christmas thoughts

What’s a better way to spend Christmas night than to write?

When I am alternating between light and darkness and the words of people confound me? When the incompleteness of the purely digital experience leaves a lot to be said, even when there’s a whole page, reams and pages, to write on?

We experience the reality of the desires of our flesh – our imaginations come to life, the future come to us – and yet it leaves us wholly empty. Having more than 2,000 friends on Facebook does not guarantee a fabulous night, or life. And thoughts come unbidden, sharper, piercing, made wilder by imaginings fired up by a single stroke of a key. Because as we have expanded our world, the more we have turned inwards. Better to drown the voices with, better to silence what we think are our truths.

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Time’s Up

Eternity

Saw those two words and – I have no other word for it – I freaked.

We are all waiting to hear those two words. Okay. Not waiting, I guess. But dreading to hear the final buzz, to have the light go off and have it not come back, to look back at our life – if that life-flashing-before-your-eyes at the end is true – and find that our life was wasted on things and people and moments that did not mean anything.

(But how could it be that every moment would mean something? What pursuit will that be? Isn’t life supposed to be filled – some of the time – with drudgery? Doesn’t that make the moments that stand out – stand out?)

At that very moment, every thing – every problem, every pursuit, every goal, every yearning – seemed trivial.

It will all end for every one – every one – at one point.

If we have a common destiny – this is it. The end.

And just like that – perspective shifted.

Things – and people and situations that made the heart heavy – seemed ludicrous. Concerns – no matter how deep or hurtful – did not mean anything. They are temporary – like the cold wind that kisses us this winter.

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What is your story?

The truth must smell as sweet.

Everyone loves a good story. One that would engage his eyes, his ears, his heart or win his trust or interest.

Reality TV, for example, has as its main draw interesting characters who are masterful storytellers that have amazing stories.

How many were not riveted when a blind home cook has earned the title of Master Chef?

(I think this is the reason why Gordon Ramsay et al chose her to be the winner despite the blah dishes (based on their comments) she presented – her story is irresistible – a cook who cannot see!)

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What if your biggest stumbling block is you?

The glorious past

What if you have done something and you think you can’t surpass it? You replay it all in your head – all that glory, all that attention – and you panic. No, it is not possible for you to do something like that again. And then you wonder what possessed you at that time, what power, what connection to the divine. And why you have lost it. You are at a loss. What do you do? When you – and maybe others (especially others) – have such a high expectation of you.

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Your words will haunt you

Hide!

And I mean this in a good way (okay, sometimes it can haunt you in a bad way too).

A friend saw a letter she wrote 10 years ago to one of her best friends (her best friend showed it to her, in a fit of nostalgia). She said in the letter that although she was sidetracked with having a baby, she thought she would probably pursue law school (she was in her 3rd year at that time) because some dreams are meant to be pursued.

Such tenacity.

Such a positive world view.

Such a positive view of the self.

Take no prisoners.

(she became a lawyer 4 years after)

She wonders if she still has the same fight in her now. The same urgency. The same determination.

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