Suppose Steve Jobs would have been your coach …

Anyone can call himself a coach now a days, the term isn’t protected. That’s why there are hyphen-coaches for every situation you currently find yourself in. For example Success-Coach, Running-Coach, Weight-Coach. Surely it’s only a question of time until the first Dying-Fearlessly-Coach shows up on the horizon and publishes his homepage.

But the inflationary use of the term also has its advantages. More and more people dare to admit that there is something they cannot handle on their own and need support.

A large part of managers who have their own coaches would have bravely smiled away a third burnout before admitting having problems mastering their lives. In modern times they afford a personal trainer and a
time-management-coach.

What about you?

  • Are you dissatisfied with your life?
  • Do you sometimes feel your job makes no real sense anymore?
  • Are you experiencing difficulties to motivate yourself more and more for work?
  • Do you envy people who seem to have it all figured out in life?

I’m not an Apple fan, my Smartphone is not an iPhone and although I do think Macs are awesome, yet I always shied away from switching from my Windows PC. But Steve Jobs’ vita has always fascinated me. Perhaps because in some ways our paths of life are similar.

SUPPOSE STEVE JOBS WOULD HAVE BEEN YOUR COACH.

And you would have asked him what you could change in your life in order to become more satisfied and content. What do you think he would have advised you to do?

Of course, we’ll never know what his answer would have been, but if you’ve kept up with his vita then maybe he would have mentioned the following 11 points:

 

1. “LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT.”
So there you are telling him about your parent’s early separation, that you never had the chance to go to college and that women in general have difficulties in their professional life….it’s likely that Steve Jobs would have interrupted you instantly.

Why, you ask?
The founder of Apple was certainly not born with the golden spoon in his mouth either. He was an illegitimate child who was given up for adoption, he left university after only one semester, he was even driven out of the company he founded. In 2003 he was diagnosed with cancer.

Not a real blessing of prerequisites. Instead of lamenting or letting these things benumb him; he made the best of it.

My own vita wouldn’t make a staff manager jump up and down with tears of joy in his eyes immediately reaching for the phone either. Find out more about me here …

What do good or bad starting conditions in life mean? The answer: nothing at all.
Your starting conditions, your family, strokes of fate etc. have no meaning whatsoever. The only thing that counts is what you make of them. If you let yourself be weighed down by them and turn yourself into a victim. It’s all in your hands.

 

2. DREAM BIG – REALLY BIG
Primarily we’re not talking about money, reputation or power. If that’s what you dream about, then sure, go for it, start walking.

It’s about your personal dream, your life project, your footprint which you want to leave behind in the world. It doesn’t have to be something big that can be read in all over the newspapers. More importantly is that it’s something,

  • that only you can do in that special way;
  • that reflects upon your whole individuality;
  • that enriches others or makes their lives easier;
  • that at the end of your life – or at an early stage in life – you are proud of.

 

3. ALL BIG THINGS HAVE TO START SOMEHWERE
In my coaching sessions or seminars I often hear people tell me about great ideas they have up their sleeves but wait putting these ideas into action until x,y,or z have been done beforehand.

As soon as the kids are older, the mortgage has been paid off, there’s more time on the weekend. You can lie to anyone but make sure you’re honest with yourself in this matter. Whether these things are indispensible requirements – or just lame excuses.

Steve Jobs started off in his parents’ garage with a few loaned dollars. I started writing my blog out of curiosity. I wrote both my books by getting up one and a half hours earlier every day for nine months.

Excuses conceal that you don’t really want to do something but still haven’t let the idea go. Here’s a recent article on “Why letting go is so hard sometimes.

Make a decision. Start putting your idea into reality tomorrow – or finally put it to rest. You don’t need any more time to think it over.

 

4. CREDENTIALS ARE TRIVIAL.
To execute certain jobs you need a legal authorization. Then you have to do that. But grades do not determine whether you will be successful in your job.

I was never good at school; I left high school with a General Certificate of Secondary Education. After several professions I decided to improve my degree of education to the standard A-levels but still had no chance to get the authorization to study psychology. I got a ‘D’ on my dissertation at the University of Heidelberg.

But that didn’t make any difference.
“I’m convinced that half of the difference between those successfully self-employed and those not is purely a question of stamina.”, Steve Jobs once said.
I fully agree. And stamina is not a talent. It’s a decision you make.

 

5. LIVE EVERY DAY AS IF IT WERE YOUR LAST.
“In the past 33 years I looked into the mirror in the morning and asked myself:“If today were the last day of my life, would I still be doing what I’m doing today?” And whenever the answer was ‘no‘ for a longer period of time, I knew, that it was time to make a change.” (Steve Jobs)

Many people have the tendency to put off important things.
Concerning doing taxes, cleaning the house or other jobs that may not be a big deal. But you shouldn’t put off your life. Sure, you can do some things later. But you can’t catch up with anything.

What would you regret, if you couldn’t do it anymore? And what can you do today instead of regretting it?

Don’t have time? Really?

That’s just simply not true. Just take a look at all the time that you dawdle away each week. By reading futile fudge in newspapers or on the internet. Watching TV.

If you could only save one hour’s time per day and invest that time in what’s really important to you then you will have gained 22 days within the time-span of half a year!

What could you do in that time?
What do you want to make use of with this time?

 

6. DON’T LISTEN TO OTHERS.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it by living the life of others. Don’t get caught up in dogma which turns aout to be the life of advisements of others.
Don’t let the noise of other opinions let your inner voice fall silent.” (Steve Jobs)

No matter what you do, rejectionists, gloom-mongers and uninvited worriers will always cross your path.

Sometimes feedback from others is helpful. But it remains to be their point of view. It only makes sense if it goes in resonance within you of a feeling that was there before but makes you even more aware of it.

In the end you have to listen to your own voice. Simply because you are the only one who is responsible for your life and your actions. You can only notice this inner voice, if you don’t listen to others.

If you listen to others and everything turns out for the best, it’s not 100% yours anymore. If you listen to others and things turn into a fiasco, you can’t really put the blame on them afterwards.

 

7. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE INFLUENCE YOU HAVE IN THE WORLD.
Steve Jobs was just one single human being. Just realize how this one man has influenced and enriched the lives of many. If he hadn’t lived his dreams, we all would be living differently today.

It’s not about changing the world. It’s about changing your world. The life of your family. The life of your colleagues, employees and customers. The life of your neighbors and friends.

 

8. IT’S ONLY FAILURE, IF YOU DECLARE IT AS SUCH.

There is no failure – only disappointment, that doesn’t fit your expectations. It has no meaning unless you interpret these disappointments as being failures or mess ups that prove your incompetence.

There is no failure – only disappointment, that doesn’t fit your expectations. It has no meaning unless you interpret these disappointments as being failures or mess ups that prove your incompetence.

Steve Jobs developed several flops and was pushed out of the company he had founded. Was he a loser? Afterwards he founded two successful businesses (NeXT and Pixar) and returned to Apple.

You’re only a loser, if you give up. All other things are incidents in the course of your life on the way to your final goal. Your story has not come to an end until you decide to give up.

Quite a few years ago I, too, got kicked out of my job because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and I was labeled not being a team-player. That was a brutal experience back then paired with a financial set-back.

What helped me get over it was the realization that they were right. I’m not a team-player, but rather a do-it-myself man of action. But having been fired from that job was not a failure, unless I would have decided to interpret it as one. It was a painful lesson which helped me to plan my professional development accordingly.

 

9. DO WHAT YOU LOVE.
“Your work makes up a large portion of your life and the only way to really be satisfied with it is to be working in a job you love. In case you haven’t found that yet, don’t call of the search but keep looking and don’t grow roots.” (Steve Jobs)

It’s about finding something that fills you with passion and meaning. For one simple reason. You will probably still have to work for a lot of years. Instead of doing something until you retire that you don‘t appreciate, why not go after something you seriously like, something your heart desires now rather than wait until you have retired?

Agreed, maybe you have to pay the price of some confinements and maybe you have to cut down on the finances. Without a doubt that will only last for a short time. If you do what you love doing and deliver best quality the financial fruit will be there to be harvested.

Maybe you won’t be able to do it for your whole working week yet, and you need to go after your breadwinning and give your passion space, time and energy on the side. But that doesn’t matter.

Don’t resign yourself from doing a job you hate or that has money as the only benefit. The price you pay is way too high, since you’re paying with your precious lifetime. Time you will never be able to recapture!

 

10. TRUST LIFE. FOLLOW YOUR HEART.
“You cannot connect the dots, if you look ahead. You can only connect the dots, if you look back. So you just have to trust the dots will connect somehow in the future …”
You have to believe in something – your gut feeling, destiny, life, karma whatever. Because believing that those dots will connect in the end will give you confidence to follow your heart. Even if it takes you away from worn-out paths – but it’s what makes the whole difference.”(Steve Jobs)

Life is incalculable. You don’t know what’s next year will bring on. You don’t even know what tomorrow brings along the way. We all have to deal with this incertitude.

You can worry, ponder endlessly, try to prepare yourself for all eventualities, but you cannot completely safeguard your life. It’s most likely that you’ve been thinking about things that will never even happen.

Whereas other things will happen that you‘ve never thought possible.
The other possibility: have faith in life. Learn to trust that life will carry you and will always find a way. Even if it’s not clear to you right away.

 

11. EXCEL YOURSELF – AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.
“You can’t ask customers what they want and then try giving it to them. By the time you’ve produced it the customers will want something else.”
“No, it’s not the customer’s job to know what he wants.”

That was Steve Jobs’ attitude towards market research and that impressed and influenced me from the beginning on. What can happen, if you don’t follow this attitude can be experienced in the daily battle of quota with TV programs and on the book market.

On the way to win the public’s favor, it’s quality that stays as well as innovation. Because the reader and the audience have no imagination of what else there is.

That’s what you have to do.

No matter where you find yourself in life. As a self-employed person, freelancer or manager of a company. There are already too many Me-too-products. Anyone can copy. To excel oneself and follow ones dreams obstinately, is a path only few chose to take.

But it pays off. Especially for us Germans.

When the Chinese prime minister Wen Jiaboa was asked by Chancellor Angela Merkel what he appreciates about Germany he said: “You know it’s about a screw, for example. It has to fit, it has to fit precisely. Otherwise nothing will be straight or tight. For this you need a German screw. Only a German screw will constantly have the same high level of quality, accuracy and dependability.” FOCUS 40/11

If you look back on the last three to five years:

  • Have you excelled yourself here and there?
  • Or did you stagnate?
  • In which area could you excel yourself?

MY CONCLUSION:
It makes a big difference who you allow to advise you in how to lead your life. Whether it’s your partner, your boss, a good friend or the Pope.

Suppose Steve Jobs would have been your coach in your current life situation.

article 32 tantalization you to itself also with wrong feelings of guilt? Which one of his 11 tips would have appealed to you the most?

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Photo: © — Flickr.com, privately
I took the 11 points from this article from Celestine Chua.
But the content is from me. 


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