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7 Life-Changing Lessons You Can Learn from Apple Inc.

7 Life-Changing Lessons You Can Learn from Apple Inc.

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.

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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.”

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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:

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    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.

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    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

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    Carlo Cruz

    Writer and Artist

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    Last Updated on August 20, 2019

    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

    Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

    Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

    I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

    You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

    Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

    When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

    I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

    Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

    Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

    Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

    1. The Inner Critic

    This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

    • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
    • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
    • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
    • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

    The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

    Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

    2. The Worrier

    This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

    The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

    3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

    This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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    This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

    The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

    4. The Sleep Depriver

    This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

    The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

    • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
    • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
    • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
    • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

    How can you control these squatters?

    How to Master Your Mind

    You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

    Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

    There are two ways to control your thoughts:

    • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
    • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

    This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

    The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

    Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

    For the Inner Critic

    When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

    You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

    For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

    You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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    “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

    If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

    • They rile up the Worrier.
    • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
    • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
    • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
    • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

    Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

    Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

    For the Worrier

    Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

    Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

    You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

    • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
    • Muscles tense

    Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

    If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

    Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

    “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

    Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

    If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

    Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

    Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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    For example:

    If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

    “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

    Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

    “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

    Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

    For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

    Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

    The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

    • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
    • Muscles tension

    I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

    Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

    Breathe in through your nose:

    • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
    • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
    • Focus on your belly rising.

    Breathe out through your nose:

    • Feel your lungs emptying.
    • Focus on your belly falling.
    • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

    Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

    Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

    One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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    Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

    For the Sleep Depriver

    (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

    I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

    Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

    1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
    2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

    When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

    From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

    For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

    If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

    You can also use this technique any time you want to:

    • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
    • Shut down your thinking.
    • Calm your feelings.
    • Simply focus on the present moment. 

    The Bottom Line

    Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

    You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

    Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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