What I Learned From Steve Jobs About Intuition

UPDATE: Watch the rare video at the end of this post of Jobs talking about his vision of reality and the personal limits that we accept. Best 46 seconds you’ll spend today!

This is a follow up post to Unlocking Your Intuition, which shows you a method of expanding your intuition. You can read it here.

At the moment, I’m reading Walter Isaacson’s book, Steve Jobs. And though I’ve read three other books about Jobs, I really like the depth this one goes into, the author having had ready access to the subject himself.

I won’t spoil the story for you, but one small part really stood out to me that I had to share and talk about it. Steve went on a spiritual journey to India when he was 19, and came back with some fascinating insights about intuition (emphasis added).

Steve Jobs’ Intuition

“The people in the Indian countryside don’t use their intellect like we do, they use their intuition instead, and their intuition is far more developed than in the rest of the world. Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work.

Western rational thought is not an innate human characteristic; it is learned and is the great achievement of Western civilization. In the vilages of India, they never learned it. They learned something else, which is in some ways just as valuable but in other ways is not. That’s the power of intuition and experiential wisdom.

Coming back after seven weeks in Indian villages, I saw the craziness of the Western world as well as its capacity for rational thought. If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things–that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and  you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.

There is power in those words. Jobs clearly learned that only when we quiet the chattering monkey mind is there silence enough to hear the truth in the moment, and utilize intuition for the betterment of the world.

Imagine what you could create and achieve if you could summon your intuition and inspiration at will? Intuition is yours to develop.

Jobs also emphasizes practice and discipline! Whatever method you choose to practice on your path, (yoga, meditation, mindfulness, neuro-feedback) you must commit to it and make it a part of your life.

Steve Jobs effectively reshaped our world and he’s obviously an extraordinary case, with infinite factors lining up to contribute to his success. But his questioning of the universe, and his dedication to personal development and spiritual enlightenment, would surely have played a very large factor in his achievements. If each one of us could use just a tiny proportion of the spiritual power Steve did, imagine the ‘dent’ we could all put in the universe!

I’m convinced that these powers are in every one of us, latent. Never to be used unless sufficiently called on by desire, or adversity, or a passionate mission to enhance the lives of others. Steve Jobs sure did. Will you?

3 comments… add one
  • Jim Apr 21, 2012 @ 1:36

    Just added the amazing video to the post. Something to ponder daily until you really get it!

  • Shilpan Apr 20, 2012 @ 2:31

    Jim,

    This is a wonderful article. Steve was a right brainer. He’s surely cultivated power of imagination to design products that we love. As you’ve mentioned, he was as much spiritual as he was a shrewd businessman.

    You’ve summed it up nicely, “I’m convinced that these powers are in every one of us, latent. Never to be used unless sufficiently called on by desire, or adversity, or a passionate mission to enhance the lives of others. Steve Jobs sure did. Will you?” — fabulous.

    We don’t realize that we have a latent power within us to lift us out of any adversity. I think Charlie Chaplin knew that well too. And that’s why I am a big fan of his wisdom.

    • Jim Apr 21, 2012 @ 1:28

      Ohh yeah, Charlie Chaplin is a great example of this! I think most people, (and it was certainly true of me before I learned this) just don’t know that the path to success is never a straight line. It is failure, after adversity, after challenge, after stumbling block. Successful people like Jobs failed so, SO much more in their lifetimes, to learn, grow, and contribute to the lives of others.

      Take action, and get excited about so-called failure. Because you just learned something. And guess what? That’s experience. And experience is the fuel of success.

      I believe that by tapping into, and trusting your intuition, you can “feel” your way through new experiences on your path to success.

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