We become fans of companies, first, because of their products. But we remain fans for more than their products – rather because of how they relate to us, how they connect to our hearts, and how they change our lives. More than their iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macs, Apple has gained a lot of fanboys, fangirls, and evangelists because of how it changed people’s lives not only through its gadgets but also through the lessons it teaches them in life. Here are seven life-changing lessons you can learn from Apple:
1. Keep your life simple but meaningful
Very often in life, we already have what we need, but, unfortunately, we focus more on the things that we want but don’t need. We focus so much on the “features” that we fail to focus on getting the “experience.”
What sets Apple apart from all the other smart phones, tablets, and laptop manufacturers are not the features of its gadgets. It is the overall feel and experience of using its products. In creating its products, Apple has always gone beyond the storage, the screen size, and the megapixels. It has always focused on the usefulness and meaningfulness of every feature to its users. It has always directed its efforts towards giving users the best experience.
You cannot sense any clutter in its designs both in hardware and software. Every function has a use. Every feature has a purpose. Unlike other products, Apple products do not focus on having the most features. Instead, the focus is on making every tiny detail count.
If something is not working in your life, if something is stressing you out, then by all means, don’t include it in your life’s design. You always have a choice not to include it. No matter how great a feature might seem, if you don’t really need it, it will just be clutter in your life’s overall design. What use is there for a big house if you cannot build a happy family in it? What use is there for a sports car if you cannot enjoy the journey riding it?
Don’t worry about how your life looks. Focus on how your life works. Focus on the experience, not the features.
Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.
– Steve Jobs
2. Add a little presentation to your life
Adding a little presentation may seem to contradict the previous point, but it doesn’t. At the core of your life is simplicity, usefulness, and meaning. But it doesn’t hurt to add a couple of unforgettable experiences and moments from time to time.
Apple has also been known for its product launches and events. It is also know for its presentations. How about some Steve Jobs magic?
Similarly, at the core of Apple events and product launches are its simple but useful and meaningful products. The company celebrates the simplicity and beauty of its products with unforgettable events and exciting launches. These build anticipation, create drama, generate suspense, and keep on surprising and so end up adding even more to the customers’ experience! How about U2’s surprise performance during the iPhone 6 launch and the announcement of their new album being free on iTunes at the end of the event? Well, that was unbelievable…and unforgettable.
Apple events and launches don’t happen often, but when they do, they rock the Apple users and the whole world.
Just like Apple, celebrate life! Add a little color into it. Keep surprising yourself! Build anticipation and generate suspense! Go on more adventures, try new things, go new places, learn new languages, meet new people, be silly, and take more chances! Add variety to your life once in a while! Have fun!
Life is meant to be experienced. Don’t just focus on existing. Live an exciting and unforgettable life!
Everything in moderation, of course. If you have too many events, you lose the “magic” and It becomes boring. Imagine Apple having weekly product launches. They would become tedious. They would become routine.
After a while, always go back to the core of your life: simplicity, usefulness, and meaning.
And remember, experiences don’t have to be extravagant. They have to be unforgettable.
3. Keep your life in “sync”
Apple did not become the most valuable brand in the world just because of its iPhones, iPods, iPads, or Macs. Apple became number one also because of how it connects and syncs all its products. Connectivity among all its devices added to the overall experience of using Apple products. Before, there was just iTunes. Now, there is also iCloud. Apple understood that the “sum is greater than all its parts.”
Your life is also greater than the some of its parts. It’s composed of so many areas: spiritual, family, relationships, work, financial, health, and so on. And in order to live a great life, every area has to be connected to the others. You cannot compartmentalize your life.
It’s difficult to have a happy family if you cannot meet your family’s basic needs. It’s difficult to find meaning in whatever you do if your spiritual life is suffering. It’s hard to build relationships with other people if your family life is suffering. It’s difficult to succeed in your career if you’re suffering from poor health. When one area of your life suffers, the rest will inevitably follow suit.
Sync every area of your life. Connect them with each other. Achieve balance in your life. More importantly, connect every area with your life’s core: simplicity, usefulness, and meaning. No wonder iTunes was also designed to be simple and extremely functional.
4. Don’t settle
Having “1,000 songs in your pocket” through the iPod. “Reinventing the phone” through the iPhone. The revolutionary iPad. And now, Apple Pay. Apple has always been known for its innovation.
Just like Apple, you should also keep on improving, developing, and “innovating” your life. Never ever settle. The moment you stop changing, that’s the moment you’ll start being left behind. Keep surprising yourself and other people. Improve what you’re already good at. Improve on doing what you love to do. Innovation doesn’t just mean doing new, different things. It also means doing things better than ever. Read books that can improve your skills, periodicals that can keep you updated on the latest trends in your profession, and plan new and better ways to do what you’re already doing. Don’t settle.
Also, if you still haven’t found the work that you love and the work you’re good at, keep looking. But, don’t take it from me. Take it from Steve Jobs:
You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.
5. Don’t rush, there’s a perfect time for everything
When the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were launched, an image that the 2012 Nexus 4 had the same specs as the 2014 iPhone 6 went viral on the internet:
However, what Apple understands really very well is that there is a perfect time for everything. The Nexus 4 may have been ahead of its time in 2012, but Apple launched the same features when the technology to create and support them were nearly perfect and when the market was finally ready for them. Especially with the Near Field Communication (NFC) Payments, Apple released Apple Pay when the customers and the vendors were ready for it. It also released its Apple Pay only after buffing security and ease of payments with its Touch ID.
Some things in your life may not be happening the way you “scheduled” them to be. Some of your dreams may not be coming into fruition as soon as you hoped. Some areas of your life, like your career promotion, your business’s success, or even finding your Mr. or Ms. Right, may be experiencing some “delays.” Don’t worry. Just like what happened with Apple Pay, believe that there is a perfect time for everything. Maybe you’re not ready yet. Maybe fate, circumstance or God is still preparing you for greater things in life. Maybe you are still being prepared to do more, to deliver more, and to have more responsibilities.
But, don’t worry. When you’re ready for them, they will come into your life. But, keep on preparing yourself. Don’t settle. Maybe you still need to develop your Touch ID before you launch your Apple Pay…whatever those stand for in you life.
Finally, as Sam Colt said on Business Insider:
Apple doesn’t want to be first when it can be best.
You may not be the first to get a promotion, to succeed in business, to find your one true love, or to fulfill your dreams. But when you do finally get them or fulfill them, they will most certainly be the best versions of your dreams for you.
6. There will always be negative people in your life
Let’s face it. No matter how much we all love Apple, it still is far from perfect. Apple also has its own share of problems, mistakes, and criticisms. Remember bendgate or even hairgate? How about the iPhone 4 losing its signal when held in a particular way? Even the iPod which revolutionized music, received a lot of criticisms back in 2001.
But, despite all the criticisms, Apple managed to keep its hardcore fans and evangelists intact. In fact, they are even adding to their number by the second. And despite bendgate, the iPhone 6 Plus still managed to generate more-than-expected demand.
Just like Apple, no matter how well you do or how much you achieve, there will always be negative people in your life. They are the people who, intentionally or unintentionally, discourage you and prevent you from reaching your dreams.
Stop living and doing things for people who will not appreciate you. There are just some negative people whom you cannot please no matter what you do or how hard you try. Instead, focus on giving your all just because you love doing it. Keep on giving your all just because it gives you happiness and excitement. The only person you need to please is yourself.
It does help to have the support of your fanboys and fangirls! They are the exact opposites of your haters, your critics, and the negative people around you. No matter what you, no matter what you come up with, they’re going to love you. They are the people who will laugh with you in your success and cry with you in your failures. They are the people who will support you no matter what. Focus on these people who really care about you.
Focus on doing what you love and focus on the people who give you energy, not drain it.
7. Be yourself, be revolutionary
Apple has never been known to follow the crowd. When computers were mainly used by businesses, Apple introduced the Macintosh, the “computer for the rest of us.” When portable CD players or the Discman was the main thing, Apple introduced the “1,000 songs in your pocket,” the iPod. When almost every computer in the world used the Windows operating system, Apple introduced its OSX.
Apple has always been true to its old “Think Different” slogan since it launched in 1997. Coincidentally, it was also in 1997 when Apple’s turnaround began. Apple has really thrived by being itself and by being different.
Right now, you may be struggling to live someone else’s life. You may be struggling to achieve someone else’s dream. Maybe it’s time for you to live your own life, dream your own dreams, and just be you. Pursue the activities that excite you. Do work that is meaningful to you, not just to other people. Stop trying to please others in order to look accomplished in their eyes and focus on what you want and what you consider to be accomplishing your goals.
Life is more than just being a success by other people’s standards. Life is about individuality and diversity. The world is a wonderful place because of our differences. Stop trying to just fit in. Be yourself. Shine your own light. And in bestselling author Chris Guillebeau’s words:
Live the life you want, not what others expect.
How about you? What other life-changing lessons have you learned from Apple or other revolutionary companies?
Featured photo credit: Steve Jobs Speaks At WWDC07 by Ben Stanfield via flickr.com