4 lessons that Steve Jobs can teach us about healthy livingMarch 6, 2012
I know what you’re thinking; “What? But Jobs passed away due to poor health?” This may be true, but consider this: Steve Jobs was a hero to millions of people, and probably the world’s best-loved CEO (and gave way to the idea that we can “fall in love” with a CEO). When he died last year, there was an outpouring of public sympathy that has never been seen for any other business person.
Apple products have changed the lives of millions of people by putting a computer in our pockets and enabling constant mobile access to the Internet, banking, market information, and our personal social lives. Steve Jobs is remembered not only as a great business person and technology evangelist, but also as an artist. He was constantly pushing the boundaries of what was possible in his business.
In the same way, Steve Jobs was known in his personal life as something of a health fanatic. He loved mountain biking, he practiced meditation, he tried various vegan and raw-foods diets, and he experimented with alternative therapies and holistic medicine like acupuncture even when he was ill with the cancer that ultimately took his life.
Here are a few lessons in healthy living that people can gain from the life of Steve Jobs:
- Be selfish: Steve Jobs, by all accounts, was not the easiest person to deal with. He had exceptionally high standards, and to say his ego was massive is an understatement. He wanted things done right – which meant his way. Although Steve Jobs might have been a jerk in his personal life, there’s no denying that he got a lot of important things done during his limited time on Earth. Many people say that they would like to exercise more, or would like to eat better, but they “don’t have time.” Every one of us has the same 24 hours in the day. We need to prioritize the things that are most important to us, and exercise needs to be one of them. Even if you have kids, even if you have many responsibilities, you need to take care of yourself first. You can’t help other people unless you take time to keep yourself healthy and strong. Fellow blogger, Josh Linkner, recently wrote an article describing this very situation. We all want things, but let other restrictions bog us down. If we want to get healthier and obtain the results we want, we have to ask ourselves; how bad do we want it?
- Think Different: Steve Jobs was known as a visionary, and part of his creativity came from his willingness to explore new ideas and be open to new possibilities. During the 1970s, Steve Jobs traveled in India and became a Zen Buddhist. He practiced meditation throughout his life. Meditation has many health benefits which Western science is still beginning to understand. Taking part in yoga and/or daily meditation practices can help reduce stress, lower the heart rate, and create other health benefits throughout a person’s body.
- Stay hungry: In a famous commencement address that he gave to the graduating class at Stanford University, Steve Jobs closed with the line, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” If people want to achieve their dreams and reach their goals – whether it’s in their career or their personal life – they need to keep striving and stay “hungry” for the next step in their development. If you want to lose weight, you need to “stay hungry” and focus on that goal. If you want to train for a marathon or triathlon, you need to keep reminding yourself of why it’s important to you and why you want to do it.
- Small is Huge: Steve Jobs didn’t “make a dent in the universe” overnight. He and his gang started with one product, the personal computer, and refined it through the various Mac designs over the decade. And rather than expanding to every possible device and techno-gadget, he and his team at Apple focused on a select-few products and pushed each of those to the limit. This allowed him to give an extremely focused effort to maximize the outcome. You should take this approach to your health in the same way. If you want to revamp your diet, don’t completely change all your eating habits; start by cutting out a few unhealthy items and adding some more fruits and vegetables. And if you never exercise but want to start, don’t falsely promise yourself that you’ll start doing it 2 hours a day. Make a reasonable schedule that fits into your daily routine and limit it to a few simple activities like jogging, and increase it over time if needed. Be like Steve Jobs and Apple, and make a few small steps every day. The results over time will be huge.
Steve Jobs changed the world because he was never satisfied. He was relentlessly hungry for new innovations, simpler, intuitive designs and a more elegant experience for the people who used his products. If more people could apply that same way of thinking to their personal wellness, we’d all live healthier, happier lives.
How do you push yourself from simple means to greatness in your health? What do you think of the life of Steve Jobs and the ever-booming success at Apple? (And how geeked are you for the iPad 3 announcement tomorrow?!) Let us know in the comments below!
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