Steve Jobs was an American entrepreneur and businessman, he was a master marketer, and inventor, as well as the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. and co-founder of Pixar Animation studios.
If you, like me, have had the luxury of reading his biography, you know that Mr. Jobs was also “quite the character.” Steve is known for his charismatic dogmatic behavior, and his ability to innovate and bring life-transforming products to market, including the iPod, iPad, iPhone, iMac, iTunes and the Macintosh.
Steve literally transformed several major industries, including the technology industry, the music industry, the movie industry, the computer industry, the cellular phone industry, as well as the consumer electronics industry.
Below are 7 Life Lessons from Steve Jobs:
1. Creativity is Not That Hard
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”
Creativity is just connecting the dots. This is why reading and learning are so critical to success. If you’re not constantly learning from multiple sources, how can you connect the dots? You have no dots to connect. The more you know from various fields, the more dots you have to connect.
When you’re learning about anthropology, communication, technology, and physiology, when you have unique interests and unique learnings, you can connect dots that have never been connected in the history of the world. You can change the world. Steve Jobs connected the dot of “design” from a college course that he attended, with the dot of personal computers, and he changed the computer industry.
2. Learn How to Steal
“It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things into what you’re doing. Picasso had a saying: good artists copy, great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas, and I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.”
Do you know how to steal? A good thief knows that you can’t leave what you stole from your neighbor on your front porch, in the exact same condition you found it in. You have to take it inside, and you have to make it your own. This way, when others see the property, they’ll say it has your markings, it must be yours, it looks like your property, it sounds like you, it obviously came from the inside of you.
Don’t copy, steal!
3. Quality Matters
“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
If you’re going to do something, do it with excellence. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
What do people say of you, does heaven and earth pause and say, here is a person who does their job well?
4. The Crazy Ones Change the World
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… The ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Are you crazy enough to think that you can change the world? It takes that level of crazy to make a difference, to make an impact. It takes that level of confidence; Steve Jobs was crazy enough to think that he could change multiple industries, and he did. Are you crazy? You have to be crazy to change the world.
5. Leaders Innovate
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
Anyone can mindlessly follow, or duplicate exactly what’s been done in the past, but real leaders chart new courses. They navigate waters that have never been navigated before, because they have a vision that drives them beyond the mundane and the ordinary. They have a desire to see what has yet to be seen, and to accomplish what others say can’t be accomplished. Leaders innovate.
6. Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish
“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”
You have to be a little foolish, otherwise people will try to talk you out of your dreams. They will tell you that it’s impossible to create a cell phone without any visible screws. They’ll say it’s impossible to change the music industry, they’ll say, “Who do you think you are?”
But they clearly don’t know you; you’re someone who is hungry and foolish enough to follow your intuition, you’re someone who has a passion to change the world.
7. Excellence is Critical
“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and everyone should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.”
Are you committed to excellence in everything you do?
When they back that hearse up at your funeral, they’re not making a practice run. You only have one shot, do it well.
When it’s all said and done, may heaven and earth pause and say, here lies a person that lived their life well.
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Mr. Self Development is an author who teaches a motivational and practical guide to success. Please visit him at Mr. Self Development.com.