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Steve Jobs’s 10 Principles to Success That Everyone Needs To Learn

Steve Jobs’s 10 Principles to Success That Everyone Needs To Learn

Though Steve Jobs has passed away, his legacy will be with us forever. Steve was undoubtedly a very successful entrepreneur.

Here are ten life lessons about success that we can learn from him:

1. Learn how to anticipate the future

Steve Jobs once quoted Wayne Gretzky, saying:

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

Steve Jobs has been a living proof of this quote all of his life. Apple has reaped the benefits from Steve’s ability to anticipate future trends. They dominated the digital music sales (shrinking the market of CD music sales), while the iPhone has also revolutionized the phone industry by introducing a very sophisticated touch screen based phone.

The ability to anticipate the future is very important if you want to achieve your goal and be successful. An example of how we can apply this to our life is by visioning what we want to be in one year (or five years, ten years, and so on) from now. By having the vision, we can anticipate future roadblocks and prepare to overcome them. For example: if you are currently working as an employee, but see your future self as an entrepreneur, you can start learning the skills that might be beneficial for the future you.

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2. Focus on the positive

Steve Jobs was an adopted child. He could have easily hated his life (and his parents – both biological and adoptive) and started to get involved with negative things during his teenage years.

However, young Steve Jobs kept focusing on the positive: he was thankful for his loving adoptive parents, he also found a positive channel (technology and computer) to pour his energy into, and in the end we all know what he achieved.

You too, can benefit from the power of positive thinking. If you are the kind of person who often sees the glass as half-empty, try to start focusing on the positive things in your life, and you will surely reap lots of benefits from it.

3. Fail forward

Everybody fails. It’s how you respond to those failures that make all the difference. In 1984, Steve Jobs was fired from Apple.

At Stanford’s 2005 commencement address, he had this to say about it:

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

The lesson that we can learn from Steve’s story is: we should not fear failure, because failure is not the end of the road. We must take failure as the opportunity to learn and improve ourselves, and success is inevitable.

4. Travel the world

The year before he founded Apple, Jobs journeyed to India. Travel has a way of broadening a person’s perspective and expanding their sense of what’s possible  – those are both traits an entrepreneur needs.

Travelling doesn’t have to cost you lots of money, or lots of time. A simple weekend getaway to another city nearby might be enough for you to experience new things and broaden your horizon.

5. Find the right partner

Steve Jobs didn’t start Apple alone. He had a great partner in the form of Steve Wozniak, who complemented Job’s skillset very well.

Likewise, you need to pick the right partner in your life so that you can be successful. The people who you surround yourself with, might make or break your life. So, choose wisely and it will help your way to success.

6. Obstacles are opportunities in disguise

Jobs and Wozniak ran out of money while developing the first Apple computer. Instead of giving in, Jobs sold his van and Wozniak sold his graphing calculator. When there’s a will, there’s a way.

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Learn to see obstacles as opportunities in disguise. Once you do that, there will always be ways to overcome those obstacles.

7. Take risks

Steve Jobs was willing to cannibalize his company’s products in the name of progress. Many CEOs would have been hesitant to develop the iPhone, knowing full well that it would help to make the iPod obsolete – but Jobs did it anyway (and took a big bite out of the lucrative mobile market).

Most of the time, we need to take risks in order to move forward. Just be careful and make sure that the risk that you took was a calculated risk. Think thoroughly, weigh the best and worse scenarios of an action against each other, and then you can decide whether the risk is worth taking.

8. Surround yourself with great people

Not only did Steve Jobs have Steve Wozniak as a partner, he also worked with Tim Cook, Johny Ive, and John Lasseter (Pixar CCO). Steve Jobs has surely surrounded himself with great people that have a lot of strength. This has enabled Jobs to create massive success with not only Apple, but also Pixar.

You can learn from him and make sure that you surround yourself with great people (people who complement your skillset) in order to achieve success.

9. Remember you’ll be dead soon

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

When you are confused, scared, embarrassed, or anything, just remember that you’ll be dead soon. Life is short; so make sure that you make it count.

10. Don’t be shy to learn from others

In high school, Jobs attended lectures at a computer technology company called Hewlett-Packard. Before turning 21, Steve had worked for both HP and Atari. He saw what these companies were doing and learned what he wanted to do differently with Apple.

You too can benefits from learning from others. I personally see this with many people who tried to achieve a certain goal (e.g.: lose weight). They have been trying really hard, however they are not seeing any results. Sometimes, help from a coach is all they need. It provides them with morale support, accountability, expertise, and a structured plan that helps them get results and achieve their goal.

If you feel like you are stuck in certain areas of your life, do not hesitate to ask for help from the experts. Sometimes that little help is all you need to start getting results and be successful.

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

Good things come in twos: Peanut butter and jelly, Day and night, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The same is true for what sparks our creative energy: our thoughts and actions.

Creativity is an inside job as much as it is about a conducive schedule, physical environment, and supportive behaviors. By establishing the right internal and external landscape, creativity can blossom from the abstract to the concrete and we can have fun along the way.

Sparking creativity is all about setting up the right conditions so a spark is ignited and sustained. The sparks don’t fizzle out. They are allowed to grow and ripen.

Think of a garden. Intention alone will not produce the delicious red tomato nor will the readiest seed. That seed needs attention at its nascent stage and as it grows a stalk and produces fruit. If we want to enjoy more than one fruit, we keep at it, cultivating the plant and reaping multiple harvests.

Creativity lives in each of us like seeds in the earth or encapsulated in a nut. Seeds of ideas, concepts, designs, stories, images, and even ways of communicating that surprise and delight await activation.

By sparking our creative energy, we activate these unique seeds. Like snowflakes, they are of a moment and always without a match. The smallest sparks encourage even the smallest, most dormant seeds to sprout.

The good news is that our creative energy wishes to be sparked—to be invited to play. It wants to be our regular playmate.

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1. Be Childlike in Your Thoughts, Attitudes, and Approach

Being childlike in our thoughts, attitudes, and approach is an easy way to internally have our thoughts be gracious prolific gardeners to our creative energy. If we want it to come out and play and hang around as our regular companion, then let’s return to our 5-year-old selves.

Our childhood selves are naturally curious. We still have that curiosity! All we have to do is remind ourselves to get curious. We can do that by simply observing and being with what is in front of us instead of making up a story about what won’t work or why something can’t be done. So, it’s about cultivating curiosity instead of jumping into judgment.

Move Your Inner Judge to the Sidelines

When we get curious, creativity percolates and, ultimately, takes its place in the world. To give a hand in choosing curiosity over judgment, we can move the judge that also lives inside us to the sidelines. The judge squashes our creative urges, even when they are as small as sharing a point of view. It’s that pesky voice that causes us to doubt ourselves or worry about what others will think.

The judge is also risk-averse. The judge likes things to stay the same. Change makes the judge nervous.

Creativity is all about risk and changing things up. It needs risk, even failure, to be its naturally innovative, dynamic, impactful self. The judge likes to convince us failure is something to be avoided at all costs.

To move the judge to the sidelines and let curiosity reign, we can pay attention to who we are in conversation with and who is calling the shots.

Is it the voice of fear, doubt, or anxiety (the inner-critic—the judge’s boss)? Or is it the voice of wisdom, courage, strength, and non-attachment, and of course curiosity (the inner-leader)?

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We can easily tell the difference by how each makes us feel. The inner-critic depletes and slows us down, putting roadblocks in the way. The inner-leader energizes and a natural rhythm develops.

It’s all about who we spend time with. If we wish to exercise, we will seek out our friends who go to the gym or hike. If we want to lose some weight, we will opt to eat dinner with someone who prefers a healthy spot over fast food.

After getting curious, we can honor what our curiosity prompts us to do. The spark can do its job and a fire starts to glow when commitment enters. Our childhood selves were fully committed to being creative. That level of commitment is still something we are very capable of exercising!!

Again, we need to let go of the judge. We can ask ourselves, what do we want to commit to—negativity that depletes our creative energy, depth, and output, or the understanding that our thoughts and attitudes matter and that right thoughts and attitudes are the sparks that really let our creativity come alive?

Learn to Recall Your Childhood Self

To get in touch with that unabashedly committed childhood self, recall your childhood self. If you have a picture, pull one out. Keep it around so you can remember to activate that innate creative nature that was prominent then and wants to be prominent now and always.

Soak in the essence of that being. Commit to their commitment to brave and dogged trial and error because it is yours as well. You are that person.

Remember how tenacious you were when you wanted to build that sandcastle. You kept at it as the waves came in. You built with fury or reconfigured the walls. Also, remember that there was a willingness to fail since you were as invested in the process as well as the outcome—but less with the outcome. You were willing to experiment and start again. There was vitality—the main lifeline of your creative energy—instead of a rigid attachment.

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When you notice you are in conversation with your inner-critic or being held back by it, simply acknowledge, name it, and then switch to your inner-leader by taking a few good deep belly breaths, rubbing two fingertips together, or listening to ambient sounds in the background.

Physical movements shift our negative thoughts over to the positive domain of the inner-leader. As our judge continues to sit on the sidelines, our ability to quiet the inner-critic becomes stronger. We taste freedom. A simple taste emboldens us to say no again to the judge and yes to what makes our hearts and spirits sing—our creativity.

We begin to spark creativity to the point it no longer needs to be invited to play. It becomes our regular playmate—the younger sibling or the kid next door ready to have some fun, maybe even make some mischief by shaking things up.

When we align with our inner-leader and think and act from its promptings, creativity flows up and out with ease, as it needs to!

Letting those initial sparks generate a creativity fire that keeps burning is something we can all do! That’s the inside job.

2. Listen to Your Inner Leaders of Creative Energy

If we listen, our inner-leaders will let us know just what we need to set-up and do in our physical world to maximize that gorgeous, hungry creativity we now have flowing freely in us.

The seed has been unlocked! So, now what?

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To enable our creative energy to take its form and place outside of us, there needs to be spaciousness! Spaciousness in our physical worlds impacts our internal one. It lets the voice of the inner-leader be heard. It lets creativity have room to be sparked and acted upon.

With a little discipline, we can easily create spaciousness in our daily lives—spaciousness that will spark our creativity and let it take shape.

So, no matter who you are and what conditions help your creativity thrive, check-out these easy-to-implement basic suggestions:

  • Reduce or eliminate multi-tasking.
  • Say yes to what matters and what aligns with your big values and goals.
  • Say no to all else.
  • Say no again.
  • Schedule time in your calendar as you do with other things in your life to just be, to ponder, to let ideas percolate, and to create.
  • Spend time doing the things that bring out your creative energy. It could be walking, singing, or simply looking out the window.
  • Meditate.
  • Breathe—long breaths in and long breaths out through the nose.
  • Invite your body and heart into your experiences so your mind is a part of you and not all of you.
  • Try a new thing to spark your creativity. If you spend time running, try a different route. If running feels stale, cruise around a museum, or go for a bike ride.
  • Play a game. Indoors out or outside. Think of what makes you happy that you haven’t done in a while. Is it a physical game like badminton or cards? Maybe it’s storytelling? Play is creative, and it sparks the creative energy, too.
  • Spend time in the places that bring out your creativity. What spot in your home could be your spot for entering into that mode? Do you need to get out? Maybe a park bench is the right spot, with a book of poetry, or even nothing at all.
  • Spend time in nature. Nature brings us to a place of calm and awe and through that our creativity is easily sparked.

Final Thoughts

These are all habits—habits of mind and habits of doing. Experiment with what works for you. Have fun. If you give even 50% to altering your thoughts and actions, then you will begin to spark your creativity. It takes a lot of curiosity and commitment, but it can definitely be done.

Our innate creative energy is a deep source of all that we seek—joy, connection, renewal. It deserves and looks forward to the changes you will make that will let sparks fly and ignite!

More Tips to Spark Your Creative Energy

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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