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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 September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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