Everyone needs a superhero—someone to inspire you to be even more of who you are. One of mine is Steve Jobs. Here’s the story on how he became my superhero.

A few years ago, I was working on a project that required that we lower our standards and just get the job done without aiming for any level of perfection. This was totally not me. I love quality. I can lower my standards on occasion, but to work that way day in and day out was not only unfulfilling, but stressful.

I started noticing that a lot of the world was doing the same. Just do it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Good enough is good enough.

Then I thought about Apple. They exhibited the type of quality I love. Microsoft’s style was what I was seeing all around me—make it good enough, not perfect, so the price can be low enough that many people will buy it. Apple’s approach was where my heart was. Apple was successful and didn’t have to sacrifice quality. In fact, quality is what made it successful.

I had always wanted a Mac, so I went out and bought one. In the process of getting to know my Mac, I was “introduced” to Steve Jobs, the co-founder and CEO of Apple. The more I learned about him, the more I was inspired by him. I collected iTunes and youtube videos of him. I had quotes and articles. Some days I just needed a Steve Jobs fix, and I’d turn to those videos and articles or looked for new ones. He was feeding my soul and in ways beyond just a focus on quality.

Here’s how Steve Jobs inspires me.

  • His passion for quality and a sense of priority. Apple products are high quality, close to perfection, but not perfect.
  • His attention to detail.
  • His desire to empower people through his products.
  • His love for his work.
  • His vision to change the world for the better.
  • His gutsiness.
  • His wizardry in business.

I didn’t force myself to get to know Steve Jobs. I didn’t make myself read a book about him or schedule regular time to watch videos or read articles. I just looked him up when I felt a desire for a Steve Jobs inspiration.

Through this process I realized some things about having a superhero. I believe one of the reasons we admire someone is because they have qualities within them that we also have, but ours are in a less mature form. How exciting is that! The reason I was drawn to Steve Jobs is because he had the qualities I wanted to grow in.

Focusing on how Steve Jobs lived out these qualities has strengthened me in those areas. The point wasn’t to copy him. It was to developed within myself those qualities I saw in him, and in ways that are totally me.

Even though he’s gone, he still is my superhero. I have plenty of iTunes and youtube videos and articles and quotes I can go to whenever I need a Steve Jobs fix. He’s left a real gift in how much he had shared of himself with us.

I had no idea how sad I was going to feel when my superhero died. Not only had I made him a role model, but I got to experience working under him at his company in the Apple Store. So long old friend. I and the world are going to miss you!

Looking at who you admire can tell you a lot about who you want to become. Who’s your superhero? And what about them inspires you?