Steve Jobs was an extraordinary innovator who was able to leave a dent in the universe. Below you will discover seven lessons from his life that you can weave into yours. If you adopt them, they may revolutionize your life.
Lesson 1: Do What You Love
If you want to be successful in life, it’s going to require hard work. When you love your work, you will feel empowered to stay focused and motivated. Passion will drive you to work longer, harder, and produce better work. Why, because you are passionate about what you are doing. Even if your work is challenging, if you love what you do you’ll persevere. You will also rise above the crowd and get noticed because you pour your heart and soul into your work.
Passion is what will make it possible for you to be innovative. People that lack passion are rarely able to produce revolutionary ideas. Steve Jobs felt that if you aren’t doing something you are passionate about, then you are wasting your time. Instead of wasting your time doing something you don’t love, invest that time discovering what you do love.
Lesson 2: Put a Dent in the Universe
While not everyone is going to put a dent in the universe when you have passion and vision, it becomes a possibility. Steve had a vision of everyone being able to use a computer in their home. However, in the beginning no one even knew they would want or need a computer at home. At the core of innovation is the ability to create something no one has even considered needing or wanting. Innovation helps create the future.
To put a dent in the universe through revolutionary innovation, you need a strong, consistent vision. You can make a significant contribution to humanity, maybe even make a dent in the universe, but you need a clearly defined passion and vision.
Lesson 3: Fuel Up Your Brain
There is a common misunderstanding regarding creativity; many people think creativity means creating something totally original. Creativity can include something completely original, but often creativity is mixing existing yet disparate things together in a new way. If you think of creativity in this way, it opens wide the door of creativity to you.
A powerful way to fuel creativity is to frequently seek new experiences. New Experiences open your mind to new ways of thinking. Opening yourself up to a variety of experiences can make connections between topics that others cannot. The simple reason is that you have more varied experiences to draw on in the creative process.
Science tells us that our brains will always seek the path of least resistance. It is your job to take control of your mind and get out of your habitual patterns. You can do this by taking on new experiences that force your mind to jump out of it’s repetitive thinking habits and adjust to the new input.
According to neuroscience research, being able to connect apparently unrelated concepts and topics, is the most important skill that separates innovators from the rest of the pack. You should implement this lesson because it can powerfully impact your future.
Lesson 4: Sell Dreams
Steve sold dreams, not products. Most people don’t buy products they buy experiences. The challenge is that most companies don’t sell dreams; they sell products. As a result, they have customers rather than followers.
No matter what you are doing in life, sell dreams. Whether you are working with kids, friends, a faith community, work, leading your company or volunteering you need to sell dreams. Every time you give a presentation, a talk, or put an idea out there in a meeting, frame it as a dream. Don’t focus on the features, instead focus on the experience, the feelings that your idea or product will deliver.
A recent experience from my life can help illustrate this. One of my daughters started selling cinnamon rolls to a few local business. I was discussing her business with her and asked her what people were buying. She looked a little confused. Then I had her think about what people experienced when they ate one of her cinnamon rolls. She finally came to realize that people were buying an experience. It wasn’t just some bread, sugar, butter and cinnamon that they were buying. They were buying the pleasure and feeling associated with eating a cinnamon roll.
Avoid selling products and ideas. Instead, sell dreams.
Lesson 5: Keep It Simple
Eliminating excess baggage was one of Steve’s principles of innovation. Often this requires saying no to many things so you can focus on a few. It’s the power of focus. In Steve’s case he pushed Apple to relentlessly eliminate anything that would interfere with the user’s experience related to their products and stores.
In your experience how do you relate to complicated things? How do you relate to simple things? For example, maybe you have acquired something in the past that required assembly and the instructions were complicated and difficult to follow. In contrast have you ever followed simple instructions that allowed you to assemble your purchased item with ease? Each situation provides a completely different user experience. One leaves you drained, and the other leaves you with energy for others tasks.
The lesson for you is that no matter what you are doing in life, make things as simple as possible. Creating simplicity isn’t always easy, but the benefits for the user will be profound.
Lesson 6: Create Amazing Experiences
Steve always sought to create amazing experiences for Apple’s customers. Pushing beyond just product experience Steve added the concept of the Apple store. Having their own store’s allowed Apple to control the user experience when buying Apple products. They wanted the experience to be simple, easy, enjoyable and fast.
In your life, you can create amazing experiences for those around you. It starts by putting them first. Consider things from their perspective. Imagine what life would be like if you were in their shoes. Stop thinking just about yourself and begin working to make every interaction with people an incredible experience for them. Make them the focus of your interaction. When you create a great user experience for those interacting with you, they will be highly motivated to come back for more.
Lesson 7: Master the Message
Mastering the message connects with selling the dream, but goes even further. When you are sharing ideas or endeavoring to get your message across the three simple concepts Steve used will help you. Notice how he keeps it simple.
Here are Steve’s three simple rules for presentations. Keep your presentations or talk to three concise points that are easy to understand and remember. Present the problem and then offer a solution. Use simple yet zippy words for your headlines or main points that will stick in people’s minds. Using these simple rules will allow you to craft your message so it will influence your audience.
Being able to present well will help you go further in any career. Use these simple tips to help you master the message.
Open yourself to new experiences. Do what you love. Connect the unconnected for revolutionary innovation. Passionately sell dreams. Keep everything simple. Create amazing experiences for others. Master the ability to simply yet powerfully deliver the message of your vision.
Scan back over the seven lessons and select one that you feel will give a big boost in your life. Then put it into action, which might include learning more on the topic as you begin implementing the lesson into your life.