You can scour the internet and find pages and pages of Steve Jobs quotes, but specific lessons that come directly from the source are a bit harder to come by on the web.
Even rarer is a lesson from the former Apple CEO that comes directly from his widow, Laurene Powell Jobs.
Powell Jobs, who remained an extremely private person after Steve Jobs’ death in 2011, recently opened up in an interview with The New York Times to discuss subjects ranging from her childhood, her current work, and a lesson that Steve taught her during their marriage.
“I can talk about him for hours. I met Steve when I was 25 years old. And from the day we met, we were together for 22 years,” Powell Jobs told The Times. “So he influenced everything. I grew up with him. Just like anyone that you share your life with, there’s an exchange and a robustness. We had a very, very beautiful and rich connection. We talked a lot, for hours every day. To pull out any one way in which he affected my worldview is impossible, because I have integrated so much of him.”
The lesson that Steve Jobs taught Laurene Powell Jobs
Over 20 years of marriage, you usually learn a thing or two from your partner. Powell Jobs explained the most impactful lesson that she learned from her husband during their relationship.
“One profound learning I took from him was that we don’t have to accept the world that we’re born into as something that is fixed and impermeable,” she said. “When you zoom in, it’s just atoms just like us. And they move all the time. And through energy and force of will and intention and focus, we can actually change it. Move it.”
It’s not surprising that Steve Jobs was able to teach others that they are able to change the aspects of the world that they see unfit. After all, he is the man who introduced Apple, and the technology that changed the way we communicate, consume, work, and more.
The Steve Jobs quote that we all got wrong
Steve Jobs, while obviously a technology mogul, is also well known for his thought-provoking and inspirational quotes. But according to Powell Jobs, there is one Steve Jobs quote that the public has interpreted wrong for years.
“People love to quote him saying, ‘Put a dent in the universe.,'” Powell Jobs said. “But that’s too flippant. It’s too cavalier. He was thinking of it as ‘We are able, each of us, to manipulate the circumstances.'”
“I think about it as looking at the design of the structures and systems that govern our society, and changing those structures,” she continued. “Because those structures, when they’re elegantly designed, should be frictionless for people. They shouldn’t require you to make huge course corrections that impede your ability to live a productive and fulfilling life.”
Powell Jobs has brought this belief into her social and professional work.
It took me a while to understand that was truly possible. But that’s at the core of everything we do at Emerson Collective. We all believe that it’s truly possible.”