“Depending on whom you ask, all of our proposed heroes are seriously flawed. Role models? Maybe. Idols? No. Just people who met their moment and sometimes left us speechless at what a human being is capable of” (Granger). David Granger, editor chief of Esquire Magazine, describes a hero as one who defies the odds, but this does not have to be in a miraculous way. Heroes are those who perform an action that is worth appreciating and taking a moment to ponder. A hero continues to strive to make an impact on society even if faced with obstacles in his path. These impactful characters do not have to be well known - any individual can perform an act of heroism. This could be as simple as taking a risk and confronting a bully at school, or as large scale as fighting overseas to defend one’s country. If one has positively impacted an individual's life, he shall be considered a hero. A hero’s action does not need to immediately change the way of society, as the small acts of morality make a difference. A true hero, when given the opportunity will take advantage of it, to make an everlasting impact on an individual or group. These admirable figures possess the characteristics of bravery and persistence allowing them to follow their intuition and persevere past obstacles in their path to success. This courage and determination separates a hero from the average person, enabling them to push past hindrances and continue forward to achieve their goals, leaving an everlasting impact on society, much like Apple founder Steve Jobs.
One of Jobs's first creations was the laptop. He wanted to make a computer that would appeal to the general public and be user-friendly even to those who were not programmers.https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Steve_Jobs.jpgOne of Jobs's most famous creations was the iPhone. The first model was released in June of 2007.https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs#/media/File:Steve_Jobs_Headshot_2010-CROP.jpgSteve Jobs was born in San Francisco on February 24, 1955. He was later adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs. Jobs was passionate about technology from a young age and was even offered a summer internship at Hewlett-Packard, a computer company in which he met who would soon be his future business partner, Steve Wozniak. Jobs graduated from high school and attended Reed College for a semester before he dropped out due to lack of interest in the subject. He decided to pursue his interests, taking classes that he was drawn to such as calligraphy. Little did he know this would aid him in revolutionizing the computer industry in the future. He and his colleagues began work on computers in 1975 in the Homebrew Computer Club. Jobs proposed innovative ideas such as designing computers to be more user-friendly and approachable to the general public with buttons, colors, and modern design. This later lead to the creation of Apple. The first computer was released in 1976. Following the Apple I, came the release of the Apple II which grew wildly popular. Unfortunately, during the process of creating the Macintosh, Jobs made a catastrophic error which cost him his job. He was fired from his own company sending him spiraling into a time of disappointment and regret. However, he soon pushed past this obstacle in his path and went on to purchase Pixar and do what had never been done before; he produced an animated film. Films such as Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, and Monsters Inc., brought in millions of dollars, still prevalent in today’s society. He soon returned to Apple releasing new products such as the iBook, iPod, iPad, and iPhone, captivating the technology market. Unfortunately in 2011 Jobs battled severe health issues, left Apple, and later passed away on October 5, 2011. Jobs' lasting legacy is due to the incredible foundation of his personality including his strengths of bravery and perseverance. A hero must possess determination and immense courage. A courageous individual is not afraid to speak his mind, follow their intuition, or take the lead in a situation. Jobs took the risk of dropping out of college to pursue his interests, which benefited him greatly in the future. This type of bravery is a key component in a hero as it allows them to take risks leading to a massive impact on society. Determination is also vital in a hero as it allows them to push past obstacles in order to achieve their goals. Steve Jobs portrays a true hero as he utilizes his unmatched determination to push past obstacles, and immeasurable courage to follow his intuition, in order to achieve his goals and produce a more functional society.
Job’s determination allows him to push past obstacles in order to achieve his goals and make an impact on society. Jobs uses metaphor to describe the impact being fired from Apple had on his further success in his address to Stanford graduates in 2005:
I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down — that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me… I’m pretty sure none of this [success with Pixar] would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. (Jobs)
In 2005 Jobs delivered a speech to Stanford graduates discussing his journey to success, overcoming hurdles, and following his heart.https://www.flickr.com/photos/kengz/70892997Like all heroes, Jobs encountered obstacles on his journey to success. He was fired from his own company after making an fatal mistake on their new Macintosh model. He compares the guilt and disappointment he felt to dropping a baton. In a race handing off the baton is one of the most important moments as if one drops it, their chances of winning are diminished. Jobs felt the same way when he was fired; his mistake had cost him his job and there was no possible way to overcome it. Jobs then uses metaphor to compare him losing his job to a bad tasting medicine. The medicine does not have an appealing taste at first, but it cures one's illness in the end. In this case, the medicine represents Jobs being fired. Losing his job was not a pleasant experience at first, but it had positive outcomes in the future as he persevered and went on to achieve extraordinary things such as Pixar and NeXT. Jobs did not let this setback impede his further success. This continuous perseverance is what separates him from the average person. Many others may give up after being faced with a setback, but Jobs pushes past these obstacles. Determination is vital in a hero as it allows them to achieve their goals and make an impact on society even if they face obstacles in their path. In 2003 Jobs was diagnosed with cancer and spent much of his time in the hospital. In Steve Jobs: Visionary Entrepreneur of the Digital Age the author described Job’s constant desire to improve the functionality of the world around him: “As sick as he was, he remained his intense, opinionated self, even finding the energy to suggest improvements in the design of the hospital equipment. At one point, he actually ordered members of the hospital staff to bring him five new designs for his oxygen mask” (Jude and Simmons 96-97)! Even as Jobs experienced much pain and illness, he still was determined to help others and make advancements to society. The fact that Jobs wished to improve the oxygen masks showed immense consideration for the generation to follow him. He continued to better the world around him even as he endured the toughest of times. This demonstrated a great drive as he pushed past the barrier of his state of health and still tried to make an everlasting impact on society. This sense of perseverance is what separated Jobs from an average person. He always strived for the best anything could possibly be even as he was in a fatal state of life. Steve Jobs’s determination and inner strength to push past life’s barriers in order to leave an everlasting impact on society is what separated him from the average person, making him a true hero. He wished to leave a legacy and most importantly leave the world in a better place than it was before.
Because of his courage, Steve Jobs was not afraid to follow his intuition and become a leader in the technology industry, thus leaving an everlasting impact on society. Jobs used cause and effect to emphasize the impact that following his intuition had on his life when addressing Stanford graduating students:
So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting...If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do… Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. (Jobs)
Jobs used cause and effect to show how taking risks and making difficult decisions can often lead to bigger and better things. Without fear of the consequences, Jobs trusted his instinct and dropped out of school. By following his intuition, he was able to pursue subjects he was interested in which lead to greater success in the future. Most people are paralyzed by fear, which holds them back from many opportunities such as venturing outside their comfort zone to apply for a new job or even pursuing a whole new profession. Jobs, however, demonstrates that one has to have trust and faith that by following their heart things will fall into place. The most difficult part about following one’s instinct is having the courage to pursue it. Jobs embodies this courage making him a true hero. Without courage, heroes would not be moving forward in their path to make the world a better place as they would still be holding onto the fear of failure. Taking these steps in order to achieve one’s goals is key in a hero as it allows them to accomplish outstanding feats. This bravery that Jobs possesses is what separates him from the average individual. He takes risks in order to achieve his goals, even with the chance of defeat. John Lasseter, a man who worked alongside Jobs at Pixar describes Jobs’s role in the company in a database article “Steve Jobs, 2011-present: one year later, the question isn't is he missed? The question is why?”:
“In a way, it was all planned,” Lasseter says. “He was our guiding light. He was the captain of our ship, with the big picture, the view two miles up in the air”--and he knew, before anyone else, that he had to make provisions for the day when the view no longer included him...This is not to say that he was the emperor who wore no clothes. He was, rather, the emperor who wore the same clothes in order to tell all the other emperors that they wore none. “He served a really important role,” Catmull says. “As we made our films, he was the guy who told the truth.” (Junod)
Jobs did not let being fired from Apple stop him. He continued on the purchase Pixar and produce some of the most famous animated films.https://www.flickr.com/photos/iphonedigital/31501330636Lasseter compares Jobs to a “guiding light” and “the captain of our ship” in order to illustrate his role in the company. The captain of the ship issues orders and makes sure the ship is heading in the right direction. In this case, the ship is representative of the company Pixar, and Job is the captain or guiding light. He made decisions and lead the company to success with innovative ideas and leadership skills. Jobs has the courage and confidence to be a leader which is a key component in a hero. It takes a great deal of bravery to take charge, craft, and execute a plan as the majority of the weight is on one’s shoulders. However, Jobs carries this courage and confidence and utilizes it to become an authoritative figure and lead the company to success. Most individuals would not have the courage to become a leader because of the fear of responsibility and commitment that comes with being an authoritative figure. Due to Jobs’s immense courage that allowed him to make difficult decisions, follow his intuition, and become a leader he was able to revolutionize not only the technology industry but the functionality of society as well.
Jobs exhibits the characteristics of an influential and inspirational hero. He transformed the technology industry with his new innovative ideas. His ultimate goal was always to create a more functional society and he was determined to do so. He used his strong will and determination as a shield, to push past obstacles in his path to achieve his goals, and leave society in a more functional state. Jobs' courageous mindset enabled him to follow his intuition and pursue his interests in order to make an abiding impact on society, improving its functionality and progression in the technology field. This fortitude also facilitated an authoritative mindset which is a key component in a hero. Jobs' persistence and drive allowed him to push past obstacles such as job loss and lack of interest in order to achieve his goals. Jobs inspires me in several ways with his immense courage, powerful leadership skills, and unmatched determination. He bravely follows his heart and pursues his interests. He does not let the fear of failure impede his success which I believe is extremely admirable. It takes a great deal of courage to make decisions such as dropping out of a prestigious university or pursuing one’s true interests without doubting oneself with all the potential risks. The fact that Jobs was willing to take these risks to benefit humanity and create a more advanced and capable society speaks to me in the sense that in order to achieve celebrated feats, one needs to take large steps and risks. For me, it is difficult to venture outside of my comfort zone whether it is something as simple as talking to someone new or trying out a new hobby. Jobs has inspired me to pursue my true passions such as math, science, and even computer programming without fear of failure. Jobs has encouraged me to defy the odds by daring to take a leap of faith outside the security of my comfort zone, as it can result in greater outcomes. When obstacles surface in my path, Jobs has shown me that with persistence and determination I can and will overcome these hurdles, and learn from them to create greater success. As poetically worded by Granger, heroes are “Just people who met their moment and sometimes left us speechless at what a human being is capable of” (Granger). Granger is accurate in that heroes are merely ordinary people who when given the opportunity, grasp it, and utilize their strengths in order to make a benefiting impact on someone’s life. Jobs demonstrates this ideal as he was an ordinary person who used his strengths of courage and determination to make pivotal changes in the technology industry, benefiting generations to come. If every individual took advantage of these types of opportunities, every single one of us would be a hero. The difficult part is finding one’s strengths and implementing them into daily actions to make an impact. Everyone has a personal strength whether it be courage like Jobs, or integrity, kindness, or honor. To conclude, having the courage to grasp opportunities to better change society, persisting through obstacles, and using one’s strengths to their advantage is what designates a true hero.
“Boy, Do We Ever Need A Hero (1).Pdf.” Google Docs, Google,
Isabella, Jude, and Matt J. Simmons. Steve Jobs : Visionary Entrepreneur of the Digital Age.
Crabtree Publishing, 2014. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=787112&site=ehost-live.
Stanford University. “Text of Steve Jobs' Commencement Address (2005).” Lack of Brain
Protein Causes Sleeping Disorder Narcolepsy in Humans: 9/2000, Stanford University, 12 June 2017, news.stanford.edu/2005/06/14/jobs-061505/.
Junod, Tom. "Steve jobs, 2011-present: one year later, the question isn't is he missed? The
question is why?" Esquire, Oct. 2012, p. 50+. Biography In Context, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A320068565/BIC?u=powa9245&sid=BIC&xid=7abc6984. Accessed 3 Jan. 2019.