Somehow, this doesn’t come as a surprise. Jobs who spoke at length about “finding what you love” (see video here) followed a spiritual practice. Now he’s not with us anymore newspapers like USA Today rummage around in his past and reveal : Steve Jobs considered moving to a Zen monastery before shifting his sights to Silicon Valley.
Not that digging up every detail of a person’s past is OK just because he or she is dead – but this story is remarkable.
Apparently Jobs took a strong interest in Buddhism and Zen meditation and in 1974 travelled around the world to find his guru. Once he had found his teacher he tried to spend as much time as possible practising with him. Jobs later said that part of the reason for his success was the capability to trust his intuition and the ability focus which he developed through his meditation practice. He even encouraged Apple’s engineers to learn meditation, looking at boosting their creativity. (The minimalist design which distinguishes Apple’s products apparently springs from his Zen practice as well – read the full story here).
One of the main questions that pops up when someone tells you to “find what you love” is – HOW? Deep inside, we know what we love. It’s that little voice telling us, that voice we tend to stifle. Meditation helps to calm down what’s around and make that voice audible again. Meditation is listening to what’s within. Finding out what makes us tick. If we were just taking the time to do so. Scraping together the scattered bits of courage and make it happen – just as Steve did after dropping out of uni, without any perspective whatsoever.
So this is for all the 9-5 people who find professionals following anything that’s labelled spiritual dodgy. Maybe the future proof company holds regular meditation sessions and includes one compulsory hour of spiritual study in the schedule. What a wonderful world this would be!