Originally Published February 1st, 2019
“Why join the navy, when you can be a pirate? —Steve Jobs
I’m reading the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson and exploring the concept of The Creative Rebel.
What does it mean to be a Rebel?
The Rebel Asks Why?
“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why. —Bernard Baruch
The job of the rebel is to challenge the status quo. To ask why? Just because everyone around you thinks/acts/lives/believes a certain way, doesn’t make it the right way—the only way. Who’s to say your way of thinking/living/acting is right for me or vice versa?
The job of the rebel is to question everything—to approach life with a tenacious sense of curiosity.
The Rebel Breaks The Rules
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Robert Frank is a rebel.
Back in 1955, Frank took a road trip across America, supported by the Guggenheim Foundation—capturing 27,000 images with his 35mm Leica camera.
Before his adventure, Frank did magazine work as a commercial photographer.
He knew all the rules but chose to break them by creating images that were out of focus, grainy, off center or at weird angles.
Instead of finding magazine worthy faces, his subjects were sad, dark—lonely people. His work became legendary. His resulting book The Americans, is easily one of the most influential photography books of the 20th century.
“I am always looking outside, trying to say something that is true. But maybe nothing is really true. Except what’s out there. And what’s out there is constantly changing.”
A rebel knows there are no rules—only the ones they make for themselves.
The Rebel Doesn’t Care What Others Think
Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me. —Steve Jobs
The rebel stands for their personal beliefs, despite what others may think. The rebel is too busy asking questions, breaking rules, and innovating—there’s no time for ego.
It’s about being an individual and not kowtowing to the masses. The rebel listens to his/her inner voice—because the alternative is to go insane.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. —Steve Jobs
After all, you don’t put a ding in the Universe by listening to what everyone else has to say.
Put your noise canceling headphones on and follow your inner bliss.
The world needs more rebels.