The Red Pill Post - ep. 1: "Shape Shifting & Thoughts About Steve"

As I browsed through my Facebook feed this morning, I remembered something important. Four years ago, I was aiming to not settle for anything less than my ideal lifestyle. Four years ago this day, Steve Jobs died. I discovered an old post, one who made me wonder why did I take the blue pill and came back to the conformist reality for the last four years? What happened in between these moments that had me let go of my dreams? Peer pressure happened, the constant ring in your ears that you gotta conform, that you gotta live by the rules. And you know what? With or without these rules, I still have Multiple Sclerosis. It has been a game changer for me. Maybe a new wakeup call after four years. Today I take time on reflecting on my life so far and on my life to be. I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, I leave you with the post I mentioned as I began writing. Enjoy and let me know what do you think about it.

(Friday, 06th October 2011 @ 11:59 p.m.)

<<A single day has passed and I let it all calm down just a bit. It was hard for me to almost shout in the crowd. Social Media and the whole Internet exploded with all sorts of Steve related stuff. So I let the buzz fade away, I stood and listened to everyone and I read a huge volume of articles & posts. I now found my own voice, and I'll speak my mind. You could listen if you want to ;).

We're social beings first of all - individual shapes carved by society

As human beings, we develop by imitating and observing others. From an early age we learn by watching our parent's actions, we develop into adolescents and our peers become center-focus, and then all of a sudden we've grown up, we're adults. This process is called socialisation and it doesn't end here. We are constantly learning, constantly shaping ourselves according to our inner selves and to the people around us which reflect our daily actions. We're the result of a given society, it's culture, but most of all we are the result of our own actions and of the interpretations we give to the first two.

From the surrounding world we take what has or finds in us an inner meaning, the things that resonate with our way of thinking, our tastes and with the definition we give to our lives. That's why we're so alike (think about all the simillarities between you and your friends, you and your loved one, etc.) and yet so different. Each person is a one of a kind mix of... things. A puzzle. An unique shape. We sculpt and define this shape all of our lives and when we're old we call it "life experience" and leave it to people we love after we die.

My story and how Steve's death influenced me

But what happens when a piece of our puzzle dissapears? What happened to me when Steve Jobs died? Did I back down in sadness for a few hours and then returned to my usual way of perceiving reality? Did my shape get cracked? No. Being one of my role-models, Steve always surprised me with his innovative and unsettled spirit and piercing intelligence. But must of all he left a mark on my mind with his drive in life: simple yet powerfull.

His sudden death has taught me a very important lesson: no matter how hard it gets in life, no matter how many times others - or even myself - tell me that I can't do something, that now is not the right moment to do it, or that it's useless, each time I'll prove them wrong.

People will always (yes, ALWAYS) have something to say about everything you do: right things, wrong things, good things, bad... you get the idea! It doesn't matter, they'll speak their mind. Each person will have it's opinion, so WHY SETTLE? You have got only ONE chance to leave a mark on this Earth, ONE chance to carve a perfect SHAPE of yourself. Don't waste it!

"Steve Jobs died today, at 56 years old"

The regretable event that happened on the 6th of October caught me off guard. At 06:45 (Bucharest time) I was getting ready for work, the TV was on and a second book I was reading about Steve was on my bed, where I had left it the night before. Then... the announcement hit: "Steve Jobs died today, at 56 years old." I stoped what I was doing and almost could not believe the information I was hearing. Of course I knew he was sick, that he had stepped-down from Apple because he couldn't handle it anymore, but Steve DEAD? Pretty difficult to accept. But that's life! It isn't all 'bout happy endings.

That's why you've got to STOP living caught in a box-like existence created by the opinions of others, and START living YOUR OWN life. I suppose that you don't want to get kicked out of it by death thinking you should have done someting about this. I sure don't.

I'm not afraid of dying, only of looking back a few years from now and finding out my life was shallow, finding out that my shape is a copy of others, a "karaoke life".

A few resolutions before ending

It's a pitty that a tragic event like Steve's death gave me the push to stop living "safe", and made me get a grip on my own life, but I honestly do think that we need a slap in the face to react. This (let's face it!) unpersonal event (after all, a stranger has died), together with a few personal ones, had the power to resuscitate my will and drive to make a change in this world through MY SHAPE, through my own example. I want to be able to help others reach their potential and one day make my kids proud.

And when the article ends, I see a new begining

I always wanted to be the best I can be, but my insecurity, the times I was too tired to do something else than sleep and - let's face it! - my cosy way of being often made me procrastinate my wish of becoming a Graphic Designer. The intent had been there for a while, but still nothing happened. But for a while now, as I was reading and learning all sorts of advertising-history of art-Photoshop-drawing stuff, together with books about Steve's life, the intent got stronger, it became a plan. His death transformed it into determination. Yesterday, 06.11.2011 I signed up for the begginers Graphic Design course I always wanted to attend. The shift has begun.

Starting with the 5th of November this year, iShift... iShape Shift: The Road to Graphic Design - via Steve.

Keep learning, keep growing, be the best I can be, and as Steve said... "Don't settle!" :)