HAPPINESS: Lessons of Faith from Steve Jobs


By Aliker David Martin

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
—M. Scott Peck

Jobless not Hopeless

Steve Jobs is the co-founder of Apple Computers with Stephen Wozniak. He died October 5th 2011. My guess is you are startled about Steve Jobs as a man of faith yet he is better known in corporate circles. The life of Steve Jobs was characterized by happiness and sadness. These issues help to illustrate his faith. Last week, a friend who signed up on my blog mailed me to thank me for the content of my blog. He confessed that he had been fired from his job and my blog is such an inspiration. This inspired me to write about job loss and happiness. My research led me to the life of Steve Jobs.

In our online chat I asked him, “Did you have a permanent job or worked on contract?” He responded, “My contract was expiring in a months time”. So why do we get shocked when we know some day, we will not have the jobs we have? It all comes down to fear. We fear unemployment and its impact on our dependants.  We fear uncertainties that lie ahead.

Certainly, Steve Jobs had this fears because he was human but Steve was a man of faith. Realizing that the opposite of fear is faith, Steve had faith in himself; he had faith in world providence and he had faith in his guts and destiny. While I listened to his commencement address in 2005 to Stanford graduates on YouTube, Steve says, “sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick, don’t lose faith”. Speaking on connecting the dots in his life he says, “you have to trust in something; your gut, destiny, life, Karma, whatever”. Steve’s message was on self-confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the unknown path because it could make the difference.

Having said that, John C. Maxwell a best-selling author and preacher says, there are a lot of things in life that are difficult to understand. Faith allows the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see.” He emphasizes that; “people of faith understand that when you seek to broaden your perspective and try to see life from a heavenly vantage point, everything makes a lot more sense. Believe that the best is yet to come by broadening your perspective through faith. Have faith that a better job awaits you. Your next job is just a step away.

Listen and learn from Steve Jobs

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HAPPINESS: WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE HOPE

By Aliker David Martin

September 26th, 2011

How do you respond to adversity in your life? In our families, we all have experienced incidences of adversity. But how have we responded to it? We all respond differently when faced with adversity in our lives. I once attended a graduation ceremony of a friend. His mother gave a very strong testimony of hope in the face of adversity. This is an edited version of her story. In 1989, we were blessed with a handsome baby boy. Unlike the six other siblings, William (not real name) was instantly sickly and spent many months in hospital. After so much effort like it’s characteristic in Africa, the doctors gave up. They could not trace his veins to administer medication to the blood. One day, a doctor came over and asked my husband to have a moment to talk. He sympathized with my husband and told him they cannot save the boy. Soon they will be discharged. Hiding his tears, my husband calmed me down and told me what the doctor told him. I listened but never responded. I was overwhelmed with the need to dialogue with my spiritual self and silently started to pray. My husband packed everything and headed home. I told him I would come later to allow me engage my faith and ask for divine intervention. A nursing aid brought the discharge note and found me deep in prayer. She said, “mom don’t worry, your child will be fine”. Ironically, she placed the discharge note next to her and moved out. Before she could open the door, she asked me, “Can I try one last time if I can trace the veins?” I just nodded in acceptance. That act of hope saved my son. I am glad today William has withered all forms of adversity in his life as a student. She concluded by saying, “your graduation is a testimony of why hope supersedes human wisdom”. So back to my article, why should we have hope when there seems no light at the end of the tunnel?

Hope is a message that gets coded in the heart. The heart is the custodian of joy and sadness. Our actions are determined by what we think. The information from our brain sends a message to the heart that directs our actions. If you lose hope, it means you have stopped trying other options but expecting a different result. Remember winners never quit and quitters never win. William’s mother and the nursing aid did not give up but thought of trying another chance and it saved William’s life.

Hope in spiritual higher power

Also, to have hope is a question of faith. What do you believe in? It could be evolution, it could be nature, it could be natural intelligence and it could be in God. It doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s some spiritual higher power over mankind that relates to our joy and sadness. To lose hope is to doubt your own beliefs and trust human wisdom above this spiritual higher power. If you believe that some day you will be fine, it will be. Napoleon Hill says,” you can be anything you want to be, if you only belief with sufficient conviction and act in accordance with your faith; for whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve”. William’s mother didn’t believe that the last judgment on her son’s life lies in the wisdom of the doctors but in that higher power. It took the nursing aid’s belief and conviction that she can do what the doctors have failed to do and save William and that’s what happened.

Therefore, as you go through adversities in your life, never give up. Always look to what you believe in and persist in trying to do some thing differently to find a different result. Adversity could be a sickness, divorce, losing a good job. Just don’t allow human judgment to over ride that higher power that you believe in. Rabindranath Tagore says, “If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.