Today is officially Steve Jobs Day, thanks to the state of California. The Apple Inc. co-founder and longtime CEO has been hailed as one of the most impactful innovators the modern world has known. That's saying a lot, but not even Jobs' detractors -- there aren't many -- deny his impact.
It's officially Steve Jobs Day only in California, where Jobs lived until he died about a week-and-a-half ago at the age of 56 after a long bout with cancer.
But that doesn't mean the Apple genius can't be honored and celebrated throughout the United States and the world, where his impact reaches far and wide. Wall Street recognizes Apple as a company, but tens of millions throughout the world recognize Apple as the harbinger of a lifestyle, and they can thank Jobs for that.
Thus, here are five ways to honor and celebrate the man who created Apple and changed the lives of so many with a stunning array of products and services, ranging from the Macintosh personal computer to iTunes to the iPod to the iPhone to the iPad ...
1) If you are an Apple user -- and the odds of that are good since the iPhone is the world's best-selling smartphone and the iPad is the world's best-selling tablet -- download the company's new iOS 5 operating software for mobile devices if you haven't already done so. Apple's OS is the company's competitive secret weapon -- well, it's really no secret.
Other companies can make hardware, but no competitor has been able to duplicate Apple's signature operating systems. The latest is undoubtedly the greatest, and it will let you take a trip to the iClouds with Jobs. Some users experienced problems downloading the new software this week because the crush was so intense in terms of demand, but it's rather easy now. So if you waited, then this is your day.
If you've already downloaded iOS 5, just head to the iCloud -- Jobs will be there, in many respects.
2) Go to a park, relax, and think. Give California credit -- the governor declared Steve Jobs Day on a Sunday, a perfect day to relax, think, and be creative in a way that Jobs would appreciate. Jobs believed in freedom, and, for most, Sunday affords that on a day out of the office and away from the grind.
Creativity is just connecting things, Jobs once said. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.
The best creativity, of course, comes from an uncluttered, freed mind. Jobs embraced and celebrated freedom, and Apple and its products and services embody that very thing. There's no better way, or place, to find freedom than in a good park on Sunday -- and Steve Jobs Day is all the more appropriate.
3) Think about what meaningful thing you want to do next. Although most of us can't claim creating Apple or the iPhone as credits, we've probably made more dents in the world in big or small ways than we want to give ourselves credit for. Small is big, of course, and any little dent or ding matters. But Jobs believed people should keep moving, and looking for the next thing they can do. Stop dwelling on the past -- look for the next thing you can do.
I think if you do something, and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what's next, he said.
So get to thinking about that next thing, and move on past the most recent thing. That's yesterday's mail, and it's a tough old world that requires a lot of people striving to make impacts big and small to make a difference. Do as Steve Jobs, who once said, I want to make a ding in the world, and start thinking about what you will do next to make a difference.
4) Exploit the gift of time. Jobs once said: My favorite things in life don't cost any money. It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.
Today, most have the gift of time. It's the proverbial blank canvas. It's just a matter of what you want to create, and what tools you want to use to do it. If you have time, according to Jobs, you are wealthy. If you don't have time, go in search of that pot of gold -- then exploit that gift when you get it.
5) Do something out of character. Stay hungry, Jobs said, stay foolish. He understood that the barriers humans can't help but place around themselves in terms of actions, activities, and ways of thinking are our greatest limitations. By urging others to stay hungry and stay foolish Jobs was advising others through simple language to not define themselves by the expectations of others.
When we lose that hunger, and that foolishness, we are simply yielding to the expectations of those around us. Do something out of character, however small. It may lead to other steps beyond personal boundaries, which will very likely open up new worlds of opportunity and advancement.