Image via Strange Time USA. Original illustration by Jonathan Mak.

"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

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. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

- This is a quote from the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.

---------------------

The death of Steve Jobs is personal for me on many levels. First, I've been an Apple Computer fan since college. Being in the creative industry has meant that all my personal and work computers have always been Apples. ALWAYS. I've had them all and have never used anything else. I have the original iPod, a big brick of a thing, in a drawer, already a dinosaur next to my iPhone 4. I own probably all the Pixar movies and started watching them long before I had children. I've lived with the ideas and products that Steve Jobs created for over 15 years. It's a part of how I communicate, learn and live my life.

Aside from his professional impact on my life, I was surprised to learn just a few months ago that my Mom was diagnosed with the same cancer that Steve Jobs has been fighting for seven years. Hearing that he has died as a result of it is a real punch in the gut. However, I am trying to focus on the fact that she was diagnosed seven years later and the treatments available to her are better than ever, perhaps in part to Steve Jobs. The radiation and chemotherapy options that are available to my Mom were just approved in the last year. I don't know whether he funded research, or pushed doctors to try different things and I'm sure I will never know, but I'd like to think that his walk down this same path ahead of my Mom will clear the way for her to have an even better outcome than he did. 

Finally, now more than ever, I hope that the messages that Steve Jobs had for all of us, to live your dreams, to be inspired and to change the world will resonate and will guide other trail blazers forward. We need more innovators, we need more inventors, we need more people like Steve Jobs who believe that they can make lives better. People keep saying that no one will replace Steve Jobs, I say, I'd like to see you try. I challenge you to be better than he was, to create more than he did, to dream bigger, to want more. In whatever your chosen field and passion, be the best and the brightest that you can be. Whatever it is, big or small, personal or business, listen to your heart and follow your intuition. Make a mark in the world and do not waste a single day.

---------------------

"You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle." - Steve Jobs

---------------------

Today I am also thinking of Steve's family. He had a wife and four children and I feel the most for them. I hope they find peace and comfort in each other during this difficult time.