Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. ~ Steve Jobs – Speech at Stanford University.
To view and read his full address at Standford University, click here.
So I’m currently reading Steve Jobs Biography. I can finally read for enjoyment without being forced by pricey tuition of an MBA program. I forgot how much fun it is to read by choice and not by assignment. I’m thoroughly enjoying the insights to his life. I know I’m not alone in confessing that Steve Jobs is one of my favorite entrepreneurs. What can I say? The man inspired me.
In my geek-filled twenties, I’d count the days to his classic keynote addresses, watch his mannerisms, nuances, and presentation techniques – I’d salivate at the spicy words he’d use to differentiate his products. I was a fan-boy, true to the Apple in my eye.
To me, Steve Jobs is a genius, and I emphasize “is”, because I’m sure he’s kicking it right now in the in-between world, already figuring out how to make it better, or he’s finally regretting how awful he treated so many people to bend reality his way. Who knows, maybe its a bit of both? The only difference now is that Mr. Jobs is quite literally iN THE CLOUD, but he don’t own it…and that’s gotta tick him off a bit.
Sure, Steve was unpredictable with his innate gifts. He was mean, blunt, and often his passions would translate to brutishness, but regardless of how you feel about the man who introduced us to the digital iWorld of everything, his accomplishments seem to bend the constraints of reality, and inspire the onlooker to ask how?
How could one man be so influential and accomplish so much, starting with so little? I’m not sure I have an answer, rather some simple thoughts on how we can be a bit more like Steve – the good parts of Steve. But first…
How Did Stevie Do it?
What was Steve’s secret sauce? Was it his eduction? No, at least not formal; formal education was too rigid for his absorbent mind. Steve seemed to thirst for things as they could be, imagining the impossible while others seemed to settle for incremental and comfortable ideas.
In my limited life experience, I believe the only way to see the world with those types of eyes is to release yourself from seeing the world the way it naturally presents itself to you. This can be done by depending less upon your own abilities, and allowing your inner voice, or “intuition” to instruct and inspire you to action – to write your own life story.
This requires you to deposit your time into something that seems to melt the minutes away – unlike the time I worked as a bill collector, where each minute felt like an eternity.
The first step is to find something you enjoy, something that will take a lifetime to master, something that you’d still do if you possessed all the money in the world. It may be a combination of many things, but find something that inspires you, and could potentially benefit others if you pursued it.
#1 Follow Your Passion
Steve was a master at following his passions, even when it blinded him to the people around him. He learned early on to follow his inner voice, which guided his pursuits, honed his tastes, and ultimately lead him to fulfill his life’s purpose. Passions vary from person to person. If anyone looks hard and deep enough, they will find something they have a genuine passion for. This is where intuition can kick in.
Intuition will educate and refine your passions in order to help you find a niche way to contribute to the world through your unique gifts
#2 Remember Intuition Is More Than Emotional Intelligence
I see intuition as an inner light that guides you, pointing you in the direction that will allow you to become your best self. Intuition is not self-generated, rather it is received from a higher source of intelligence, so taking credit for it only frustrates its flow. Nor can you call upon it to strike, you can only create conditions wherein it will appear.
My personal belief is that intuition is a divine guide from a loving God, given to all his children through the Light of Christ. But for those of you who do not consider yourself religious, it’s easily labeled as “inspiration” or “spontaneous creative insight”. Regardless of how you assign meaning to it, it is a real force that can guide your life, most especially when doing creative work, or solving what seems to be complex life challenges.
#3 Forget Man-Made Systems
Steve was one of those rare characters with an innate ability to disconnect from the reality of “man-made systems” and institute his own system, and live intuitively, from the gut, no need for directions, just deep listening to the inner light that resides in each one of us.
Instead of relinquishing his dream and buckling himself under a 9-5 life, Steve dared to bend reality and find the sub-conscious layer of reality: that invisible but real structure that only responds to universal law – highly based on the law of the harvest, wherein what you’ll reap in this life is precisely you’ll sow.
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 2 Corinthians 9:6
Steve knew he had special talents, and those talents needed fertile soil to grow in. Planting talents in good soil doesn’t usually come without some familial criticism, jealous onlookers, failures, and harsh resistance along the way.
#4 Trust in Your Talents
I’m of the belief that we all have God-granted talents, fostered then by man-honed skills. What I mean by this is that God grants each of us unique gifts that we then hone and refine using our ability to act in positive ways. When we nurture and use these gifts we flourish, and it benefits the world and those around us. When we nurture these gifts we are creating a condition in our hearts to live more intuitively.
Don’t Hide Your Good Stuff
When you fall into the trap of merely following societal trends, without putting much thought into the innate gifts you have or where you can best contribute, you do yourself a huge disservice, as well as your fellowman.
When we hide our gifts we are unable to bless the world and those around us. I’ve seen this happen with friends and family who have locked themselves into a career based solely on money and perception, yet they are miserable. It’s hard to follow your intuition when your a slave to a lifestyle.
It’s hard thing to do, letting go and trusting your intuition, which by the way should not be confused with opportunistic greed. Intuition rarely leads to push-button solutions, it leads to the path that results in the greatest good and growth. To let go and trust your intuition requires you to be vulnerable, trepidatious, and even a little fearful, yet all the while trusting in a higher power than your own.
You’re intuition already knows the answers, it’s a matter of bending your will to follow it – and yes it will most oft times go against logic, policy, and procedure. It takes practice and faith, but it results in you fulfilling your destiny. Remember Darth Vader when he cried out: “Luke, it is your destiny!”
#5 Treat Death as a Catalyst
As Steve mentioned, death is a change agent, even more so when you are apprised to its arrival. Death honed Steve, and sharpened his focus on what he really wanted to do with his precious time on earth. Since we are an obstinate bunch of procrastinating human beings, it serves us well to imagine death is at our door, and then ask those questions that put our priorities in proper perspective, those questions that tap into our intuitive feelings – even if we are not literally on our death bed:
- Would I be doing what I’m doing right now if I only had three years to live?
- Would I choose this career if I knew I was going to be six feet under in 3 years?
Here are some more tips I have personally found helpful when trying to live a more intuitive life.
Practical Tips on How to Better Follow Your Intuition
- Don’t second guess your initial creative solution to a problem
- I have found that most times, especially in film editing, my initial gut intuition in solving a creative challenge is usually the best. Nevertheless, I’ll check myself by trying other options, asking for feedback, and sitting on it for a day or two. Nonetheless, I usually come back to my original solution.
- When you sit in silence (no music, no phone, no office, no internet) for 20 minutes and just listen, what does your gut tell you to do and to become?
- Ask yourself, “If money wasn’t an issue, would I be pursuing this course of action?” What would I REALLY be doing if money wasn’t an issue in my life?
- Ignore societal trends and stick to the basic human needs that bring happiness, namely: family, relationships, people, and developing portable traits such as patience, kindness, and humility.
- In my experience, intuition will rarely lead to quick band-aid fixes or complex solutions, rather simple solutions that require diligent work.
- Will what your deciding complicate or simplify your life?
- Simplify your life. Yes you! Those back burner projects you haven’t touched for two years, kill them and put then in an idea folder. It’s hard to live intuitively when you are overloaded with self-invented things you think you need to do. (I’m really speaking to myself).
- Reach out and help others. I have found that more often than not, in the act of serving other people is when I receive some of the most therapeutic advice and insights.
I believe there is a divine hand that helps us figure out what our unique contribution to those around us can be. Our inner light of intuition will point us to the way.
Life is much too short, don’t live someone else’s life, go live your life, and live it intuitively.