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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 July 16, 2019

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

Have you ever thought of yourself as a problem solver? I’m guessing not. But in reality, we are constantly solving problems. And the better our problem solving skills are, the easier our lives are.

Problems arise in many shapes and forms. They can be mundane, everyday problems, or larger more complex problems:

What to have for dinner tonight?

Which route to take to work?

How to fix a project that’s running behind schedule?

How to change from an uninspiring job to a career you’re really passionate about?

Every day, you’ll be faced with at least one problem to solve. But it gets easier when you realize that problems are simply choices. There’s nothing ‘scary’ about them other than having to make a decision.

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No matter what job you’re in, where you live, who your partner is, how many friends you have, you will be judged on your ability to solve problems. Because problems equal hassles for everyone concerned. And people don’t like hassle. So the more problems you can solve, the less hassle all-round, the happier people are with you. Everyone wins.

Why Are Problem Solving Skills Important?

Problem is something hard to understand or accomplish or deal with. It can be a task, a situation, or even a person. Problem solving involves methods and skills to find the best solutions to problems.

Problem solving is important because we all have decisions to make, and questions to answer in our lives. Amazing people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., are all great problems solvers. Good parents, teachers, doctors and waiters all have to be good at solving different sort of problems as well.

Problem solving skills are for our everyday lives.

How to Enhance Problem Solving Skills

Most people believe that you have to be very intelligent in order to be a good problem solver, but that’s not true.

You don’t have to be super smart to be a problem solver, you just need practice.

When you understand the different steps to solve a problem, you’ll be able to come up with great solutions.

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1. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem

Neuroscientists have proven that your brain cannot find solutions if you focus on the problem.[1] This is because when you focus on the problem, you’re effectively feeding ‘negativity,’ which in turn activates negative emotions in the brain. These emotions block potential solutions.

I’m not saying you should ‘ignore the problem,’ instead, try to remain calm. It helps to first, acknowledge the problem; and then, move your focus to a solution-oriented mindset where you keep fixed on what the ‘answer’ could be, rather than lingering on ‘what went wrong’ and ‘who’s fault it is’.

2. Adapt 5 Whys to Clearly Define the Problem

5 Whys is a problem solving framework to help you get to the root of a problem.

By repeatedly asking the question “why” on a problem, you can dig into the root cause of a problem, and that’s how you can find the best solution to tackle the root problem once and for all. And it can go deeper than just asking why for five times.

For example:

If the problem is “always late to work”…

  • Why am I late to work?
    I always click the snooze button and just want to go on sleeping.
  • Why do I want to go on sleeping?
    I feel so tired in the morning.
  • Why do I feel tired in the morning?
    I slept late the night before, that’s why.
  • Why did I sleep late?
    I wasn’t sleepy after drinking coffee, and I just kept scrolling my Facebook feed and somehow I couldn’t stop.
  • Why did I drink coffee?
    Because I was too sleepy at work in the afternoon, not having enough sleep the night before.

So there you see, if you didn’t try to dig out the root of the problem, you may just set a few more alarms and have it beep every five minutes in the morning. But in fact, the problem you need to solve is to quit Facebook surfing endlessly at night so you’ll feel more energetic in the day time, and you won’t even need coffee.

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3. Simplify Things

As human beings, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be! Try simplifying your problem by generalizing it.

Remove all the details and go back to the basics. Try looking for a really easy, obvious solution – you might be surprised at the results! And we all know that it’s often the simple things that are the most productive.

4. List out as Many Solutions as Possible

Try to come up with ‘ALL POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS’ – even if they seem ridiculous at first. It’s important you keep an open mind to boost creative thinking, which can trigger potential solutions.

Coming from 10 years in the corporate advertising industry, it is drummed into you that ‘No idea is a bad idea’ and this aids creative thinking in brainstorms and other problem-solving techniques.

Whatever you do, do not ridicule yourself for coming up with ‘stupid solutions’ as it’s often the crazy ideas that trigger other more viable solutions.

5. Think Laterally

Change the ‘direction’ of your thoughts by thinking laterally. Pay attention to the saying,

‘You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging it deeper.”

Try to change your approach and look at things in a new way. You can try flipping your objective around and looking for a solution that is the polar opposite!

Even if it feels silly, a fresh and unique approach usually stimulates a fresh solution.

6. Use Language That Creates Possibility

Lead your thinking with phrases like ‘what if…’ and ‘imagine if…’ These terms open up our brains to think creatively and encourage solutions.

Avoid closed, negative language such as ‘I don’t think…’ or ‘But this is not right…’.

The Bottom Line

There’s nothing scary about a problem when you start to adapt my advice.

Try not to view problems as ‘scary’ things! If you think about what a problem really is, it’s really just feedback on your current situation.

Every problem is telling you that something is not currently working and that you need to find a new way around it.

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So try to approach problems neutrally – without any judgment. Practice focusing on defining a problem, keep calm and not to make things too complicated.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Planet of Success: Problem vs Solution Focused Thinking

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