Steve Jobs’s keys to success were the spiritual qualities he had developed. He had this incredible realization that his intuition was his greatest gift, and that he needed to look at the world from the inside out.
Steve Jobs What Turned Him To Be Simply The Best
Power of Possibility
Jobs seemed more interested in the concepts of spirituality than in its outward practice, but his spiritual energy found expression, through his work. For example, Jobs believed in possibility. “He could invent things that no one had ever dreamed of,” Kaye told me. “There were no roadblocks in his mind — nothing that said, ‘Oh no, you can’t do that.’” Some part of him always stayed very open and child-like.
Les Kaye was a member of the Los Altos zendo said that Jobs was interested in exploring his spiritual self, particularly when he first returned from India. He would take long evening walks with the leader of the zendo, exploring spiritual subjects. He could concentrate intensely on his work, pouring all of his energy into it. “If you don’t love something,” he said, “You’re not going to go the extra mile.”
Opportunity in Diversity
He was able to take setbacks as blessings. In this talk to the 2005 graduating class of Stanford, he said, referring to his firing from Apple in 1985, “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.”
He appreciated inner freedom. “I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good,” he said, “Then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.” Sometimes he used the thought of death to help him stay non-attached. “Remembering that you are going to die,” he said, “Is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Governed By Conviction
He deeply valued, and trusted, the power of intuition. “Your time is limited,” he said, “So don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out 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.”
Jobs didn’t have all the answers, though, and was unsure about God and heaven for much of his time on earth. Towards the end of his life he told his biographer, “I’m about fifty-fifty on God.” He just didn’t know. But every year Jobs would read Autobiography of a Yogi. Even though Jobs may not have had a strong or consistent practice for all of his life, these qualities are spiritual. One finds in his quotes above a certain level of the understanding that is expressed in all great religions.
At death, perhaps, some things became clearer. The day before he passed away, he told his sister that he was going to a better place. His final words, as he lay on his bed at home, were, “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”
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