Nothing is quite as it seems. There is the surface meaning and then what lies beneath and then the perception, which varies from individual to individual.

You already know I’m a fan of Seth Godin, who favors leaders over followers and preaches about building tribes. His exact history is hard to pinpoint – he has made it so that we cannot learn much about who, exactly, he is but rather focus on his pervasive messages.

I am also a fan of Steve Jobs, Apple founder. Today I’d like to share with you some of Jobs’ wise words because in these difficult times, when so many people are seeking to reinvent themselves and find anchors and dry land amid a tumultuous economic storm, we need the simple but powerful inspiration that comes from hearing something phrased in a way that is different than it sounds between our ears.

* Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. Perhaps you don’t want to be a leader – you just want a job, a paycheck, an easy-to-follow set of instructions. That may come and it may not and in the meantime, be the determiner of your own destiny.

* There is no shortcut to excellence. Hold yourself to a higher standard. Pay attention to the details.

* Seek meaning, and success will follow. Strive to make a difference in the world and contribute to the greater good. Don’t preach, don’t be self-righteous, eschew competition. Talk about what you’re doing because in the urbane discussion comes enlightenment and inspiration. There is always enough to go around. 

* Embrace mistakes. Every successful person has failed at something – and changed their lives or work or perspective because of it.

* Live and work with purpose. We are here to make a difference, to “put a dent in the universe.” Each of us was born with a gift – find yours and let it guide you. It is your purpose.

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