Emily Lam

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Jumbled Mind

There's a lot on my mind right now. And it's really jumbled. Although not all my thoughts end up on my blog, right now, I feel like I need to write them out in order to make sense of them. So bear with me as I ramble through this post.

First, Steve Jobs is no longer CEO of Apple. What does that mean? Well, for one it's really sad. I mean Steve Jobs is the kind of guy who sleeps, breathes, and lives his company and would step aside only if he couldn't perform as CEO. So it really is sad that his health has deteriorated to this. I'm willing to bet his resignation was a really difficult decision for him to make. Yes, the man is still alive and still has an active role in Apple as chairman of the board. But it's still sad when the visionary of a company takes a backseat. It's no longer his company. I'm not saying Apple is on a downward slope. It's just I guess a loss of authenticity.

That's another thing I've been wrestling with. The authenticity of a company. I feel it leaves when the founder/visionary leaves. Once the visionary leaves, the company becomes a company by all means and profits and stocks become the most important details in decisions. Steve Jobs is famous for ignoring market research and just going with his guts, bringing people what they want before they know they want it. I really just hope the innovative nature of Apple remains. Apple used to be counter-culture, but now it's culture. How well Apple handles it's popularity is to be seen.

I relate all this to when Walt Disney left his company. The Disney Company is by all measure capable of producing top quality entertainment after Walt Disney's death. But, really what is the motive? Profits? Or genuine vision? I'm not saying that there aren't visionaries at Disney, but they are surrounded by businessmen that sometimes these visionaries are limited. I guess I just really like genuine things. You know, the feeling that hey, you put yourself into this product just so I could enjoy it. Thanks. I believe Pixar is very genuine in that way, which is why their films always touch my heart. Although like Apple, Pixar isn't as counter-culture as it used to be. (Interesting enough, Pixar was helmed by Steve Jobs until Disney bought Pixar, making Steve Jobs the biggest Disney shareholder, and a Disney board member.)

In light of all this, I watched Steve Jobs' commencement speech at Stanford University. I don't know why, but I have difficulty remembering commencement speeches, even right after I watch it. But I do remember him talking about connecting the dots and how one could only connect them backwards and that dropping out of college and being fired from his company was the best thing to happen to him. How failure/rejection, so to say, set him on the right path. He also discussed that one must love their job. And to never give up on finding that job if one hasn't found it yet. This made me think of the other two commencement speeches I've watched. Katie Couric at BU and J. K. Rowling at Harvard. I admittedly don't remember anything Katie Couric said. All I remember is that she quoted a bunch of people and answered tweets in her speech. I think she also barked. J. K. Rowling's, I do remember. She talked, like Steve Jobs, about failure, and how it was alright to fail. How her own failure set her free to write and eventually succeed. This is similar to Steve Jobs' outlook on failure. J. K. Rowling also talked about imagination. How we, as human beings, can imagine other's life, good or bad. And that we should use that to better the world. Jobs and Rowling are different. One is in the field of literature and the other is in the field of technology. But they're both creative visionaries of some sort. And for that, I admire them.

But of course, where does this put me? What is my vision? What do I want? I realize, I know a lot more about what I don't want to do than what I do. I know for sure I'm not a medical or business or law person. I guess that cuts down on a lot of options. But still . . . Looking at my list of inspirational people on Facebook, I see Walt Disney, J. K. Rowling, Angelina Jolie, and Steve Jobs (recent addition). They're all creative. And different from their peers. And visionaries. And I guess that's what I want: to be creative, different, and visionary. But in what form do I want it? And is what I want who I am? And am I capable of what I want? Or in other words, how am I to be visionary if I don't have a vision?

I've also, recently, come across the Disney Legends Award Ceremony during the D23 expo. I started to watch it but then I just couldn't. Something inside of me just didn't want to see it. I watch award shows all the time, Oscars, Grammys, VMAs, etc. But you know those are awards are given to people that yes, I admire, but no, I do not aspire to be. It was very weird that I didn't want to watch the Disney Legends Award Ceremony. I don't quite understand why. It puts my life into perspective, I guess. Like they are being awarded for things I want to do. And I'm force to realize oh wow, I lack so many things. I don't know. It's just something. I did though watch the performances: the original voices of Disney Princesses, Paige O'Hara (the voice of Belle), Lea Salonga (the voice of Mulan and Jasmine), Anika Noni Rose (the voice of Tiana), and Jodi Benson (the voice of Ariel), singing their songs. (Here's a link to an article with all five performances. The author is of the article is on the ranting side though.) While I'm not a fan of the pedestal the Disney Princess are on, I can't say anything except that I loved their performances. It's like a blast from the past. Although Princess Tiana is a lot recent and younger than the rest. And they're REALLY talented singers.

And I've also been thinking of my skills. Because, I believe I have creativity hidden somewhere in me. And for the time being, while my creativity is hidden, I should work on my skills. Because no matter how creative your mind is, you need skills to make them come to life. So that's what I'm working on. College will give me most of my skill set but I can try on my own. Today, I dabbled in HTML programming. And well, I didn't make an effort to remember all the coding. But HTML is pretty logical.

And as an afterthought, for some reason, I feel like I neither fit in with the outcasts or the mainstream. I'm like an inbetweener. And aren't those really the people who are least accepted?

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