The Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson that I ordered from Amazon arrived yesterday. It’s always a thrill to have a nice fat book in English to read, since they’re kind of hard to come by down here in Rio.
In any case, I’m a Jobs/Apple fan, so I’ve really been looking forward to reading this book. What took my by surprise, though, was as I started to read about Job’s early life, I kept stopping and thinking, “Wow, that sounds just like me!” or “Hey, that’s exactly what I used to do when I was young.”
Like Jobs, I was a spiritual seeker from an early age, and read some of the same books he did, like “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass and “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda. I also followed a lot of “weird” diets over the years, just as he did: vegan, raw fruit and veggie, and macrobiotic (which he didn’t). But what struck me the most was that everything he got interested in he became obsessed with and pursued with a vengeance. This was also true of me.
I’ve often wondered if this is a good or a bad thing. In Job’s case, this kind of passion was surely a positive factor in helping him to develop Apple, although it probably brought him into a lot of conflict with others. I’ve only read about 100 pages of the book so far, so I can’t offer any details on that subject. In my case, I think my overzealousness often led me astray (and I get into this in my book), although I do believe that each experience serves as a lesson for us if we can manage to view it the right way.
I’ve found that as I’ve slowly matured, I’ve become less fanatical and obsessive, although I can still get pretty excited and enthusiastic about things. But I feel that I’ve become more balanced, so the tendency to throw all caution to the wind and just follow my instincts has definitely been tempered by some wisdom and spiritual intuition.
I wonder if this was true for Jobs…guess I’ll find out when I finish the book.