Steve Jobs hired Walter Isaacson of TIME magazine to write a sincere book about his life, shortly before being killed by pancreatic cancer in 2011. He promised to stay out of the process of documentation and writing of his biography by Walter Isaacson. He did not survive to see his biography published in November 2011 by Simon and Schuster Publishers of New York. Out of the 670 pages of this exceptionally documented book, you have below a summary of details related exclusively to his psychological profile as a man.
All the other details related to the business acumen and achievements of Steve Jobs are going to be subject of another book review to be published in the near future.
Steve Jobs was early in his life diagnosed by medical specialists as suffering of an illness called "disorder of the narcisistic personality", a fact kept private by him and his family. According to scientists, we all have such disorders in childhood when we see ourselves as the center of the world and we expect our parents, brothers and sisters to treat us accordingly, with unlimited love and constant affection. By evolving from childhood, we regress from this personality disorder and become normal human beings. For some people, this regression is blocked by dramatic events in their early life. In the case of Steve Jobs, such dramatic event was being told in his boyhood by a neighbour, that his biological parents did not love him and decided to abandon him to Paul and Clara Jobs, two blue collar workers.
Despite the efforts of his adopted parents to give consolation to Steve and persuade him that he is loved by them, he remained marked for the rest of his life by this psychological trauma inflicted on his fragile soul in the preschool years of his boyhood. A major symptom of this illness is the inability of the patient to cope in life with certain road blocks which he cannot bypass. Steve Jobs could not cope in his life with a number of such road blocks. For example, for years he was unable to choose furniture for his 14 bedroom villa he owned in Cupertino, California.
Isaacson put a picture in his book showing Steve Jobs sitting in 1982 on the floor of an empty living room devoid of any furniture except a tall lamp with a large shade...When he invited friends there, they had to sit in the kitchen because there were no chairs in the living room. After he married Laureen Powell, an investment banker, for 8 years, Steve could not agree with her on buying a sofa for their small dwelling they had as the main residence! The big villa was kept as a guest house for friends like Hillary and Bill Clinton who stayed there when visiting their daughter, Chelsea, a student at the Standford University. It was on such a visit when Laureen Powell had to furnish their villa for the Clintons...When Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, visited the small dwelling of the Jobs family, he asked incredulously:"You all live in this house?". At that time, Bill Gates was building his manor on a lake shore in Seattle area and he could not understand the simplicity of Steve Jobs life style:no bodyguards, no domestic help in the house, despite being wildly rich.
Another dramatic event, early in his youth, which marked Steve Jobs for his entire life was his extensive travel in India in search of spiritual education. For 7 months he lived the simplest of life in remote villages of India, where there was no electricity, no running water, among illiterate villagers whose life style was identical for 10.000 years! He specifically looked for indoctrination into oriental spirituality via ascetism, simplicity and sleep deprivation with the help of local gurus, masters of Yoga and preachers of Buddha faith.He came back to America a different man as George Harrison of the Beatles did, a few years earlier:a strict vegetarian, converted to the Buddha faith, a tea totaler who could not stand alcohol, walking barefoot in the street or in sandals, never using shoes. (His parents who were waiting Steve in the airport did not recognised him and he looked amused as they passed by him a few times!). Most important:he acquired in India a fantastic power to concentrate his attention on a subject of interest in such a way that all the other background noise or distractions were prevented to interfere with his intense process of thinking.
The budist preachers of India have succeeded to teach Steve Jobs how to stimulate intuition in making major decisions in life when simple reasoning and logic are less helpful. He named this ability:"THINK DIFFERENTLY" and insisted to instill such ability to his entourage of friends and subordinates. In fact until late in life he said that the knowledge based on intuition is more significant than that of abstract thinking and the intelectual logical analysis. According to him, America is behind the Orient in this respect! Food for meditation, or for consideration on how to see life and the major achievements in this world...Another dramatic event in his life was discovering that going hungry helped him increase significantly the power of his brain. Even more:by staying hungry he could induce euphoria and extasy. There were weeks in a row when Steve Jobs did not eat anything but apples!
This man when student at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, had to walk 10 kilometers each Sunday to a budist temple, for a free meal. This is how he discovered that going hungry is a blessing in disguise! It is a fact established by science that the excess of food is overcharging the body organs, like an automobile driven constantly at top speed! His last words for the students of the Stanford University listening to his keynote speech were:"STAY HUNGRY, STAY FOOLISH!" but few of them could decipher what was the meaning of such strange words. In the last years of his life, when fighting his pancreating cancer, his doctors and his immediate family were desperate in persuading Steve Jobs to eat proteins and fish in order to sustain his skeletic body after major surgeries like his liver transplant. He was a very stuborn man and in many respects he dig his grave with his teeth. Another major event in his life was the use of marijuana and hashish when he was 15 years of age. In the last year at the high school he started to use LSD and play with the confusion induced by sleep deprivation.
A shocking thing even for his adopted parents, who did not put up with this habit and really quarelled with Steve for the first time in his life at home. It is really stunning to learn that Steve Jobs told Isaacson that the drugs and especially LSD had a positive influence in his life. As Chief Executive Officer of Apple Corp., he is on record for asking frequently this question in front of large halls of people:"How many of you tried LSD? Raise your hand!" Not surprisingly, his FBI file is thick.
The first child of Steve Jobs is Lisa Brennan, born out of wedlock. Despite his trauma of being abandoned by his biological parents he behaved miserably vis-a-vis Lisa Brennan and her mother Chrisanne Brennan, a girlfriend of Steve Jobs from the times at Reed College. He refused to admit the paternity of Lisa and drove Chrisanne to desperation. After years of refusing to see Lisa, or help Chrisanne, the technology and ADN study permitted to establish paternity and Steve accepted to be submitted to such a test. It came out with the results that Lisa was 98% his biological child. He tried to fix this mistake by bringing Lisa into his family after Steve married Laureen Powell but the scars of neglect were deep on both Lisa and Chrisanne. It is interesting to read the book:"A REGULAR GUY", authored by Mona Simpson, the biological sister of Steve Jobs which describes in vivid detail the troubled relationship between Steve Jobs and his daughter Lisa.
Steve learned from his adopted parents, that he has a biological sister, Mona Simpson who was not put up for adoption and he succeeded to locate her and their biological mother Joanne Simpson (born Schieble) with the help of detectives. Mona Simpson is an established writer in New York City and she authored another book which title is:"ANYWHERE BUT HERE". In this book, Mona Simpson describes the troubled life of her biological mother, Joanne Schieble of German extraction who fell in love with a fellow student from Siria, Abdulfattah Jandali. Steve Jobs accepted to meet his biological mother but not his biological father (whom Mona met personally without having the permission of Steve to tell Abdulfattah Jandali that the boy he abandoned was Steve Jobs). At this hour, obviously, the Sirian knows everything...Steve Jobs and Laureen Powell have given birth to a son, Reed (baptised with the name of Reed University, which Steve never graduated), and two daughters, Erin and Eve. Their pictures displayed in the book, show youngsters with bright looks. Reed is a medical doctor educated at Stanford. The marriage of Steve and Laureen was officiated by a budist preacher and so was his funeral service in October 2011.
The grave of Steve is at Costa Mesa Cemetery in Cupertino, California, but access there is restricted for security reasons. Nobody was able to publish a picture of his grave, yet. It is unprecedented in the world history to have such a case of secrecy for the tomb of a man with such a contribution to the mankind. In the process of writing this book, Walter Isaacson had interviews with 140 people including extensive talks with Steve Jobs, the last one being in August 2011. Steve had two contributions only:a.He encouraged all the people of interest to speak openly to Isaacson about him and the life at Apple Computer and Pixar Inc.;b. To design himself the covers of the book, which Isaacson accepted. Steve promised to read his biography 6 months after its publication by Simon and Schuster Publishers. He died 4 weeks before the book was on sale in the bookstores, worldwide...