Steve Jobs & Intuition

As part of the research I’m doing into intuition, and before Jennifer and I head off to India to begin filming, I came across this piece on Steve Jobs, intuition, and India:

People often talk about how intuitive Apple products are and how Steve Jobs had a powerful sense of  what is natural to people’s emotions. His affiliations to Hinduism and Zen Buddhism are well-known and they are often reflected in the aesthetically minimal products that he allowed to come out of Apple’s production lines.

In his teenage years, young Steve travelled to India in search of a spiritual guru, only to find out upon his arrival that the guru he sought had died. Without money, the starving teenager walked to many remote spiritual places in the northern states of India, where he learned something about intuition.

“Coming back to America was, for me, much more of a cultural shock than going to India.  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 it is a great achievement of Western civilization. In the villages 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 months in Indian villages, I saw the craziness of the western world and 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.

Zen has been a deep influence in my life ever since. At one point I was thinking of going to Japan and trying to get into the Eihei-Ji monastery but my spiritual advisor urged me to stay here. He said there is nothing over there that isn’t here, and he was right. I learned the truth of the Zen saying that if you are willing to travel around the world to meet a teacher, one will appear next door.” – Steve Jobs

It is a telling quote from a man who was so famously adamant about what is and what is not right for products that would be shipped to millions around the world. While so many companies strived to design for the lowest common denominator, Apple always had one choice to make – Did Steve Jobs like it ?

Only with a clear understanding of his own mind and the confidence that his intuition will lead him to the right answers, he was able to command such compliance from his company men and deliver such massive successes.

This explains his seemingly magical power: 

Steve Jobs


11 thoughts on “Steve Jobs & Intuition

  1. To all of Bill’s followers:
    Where are you? This is such an excellent post and I wasn’t going to reply today as 91 degrees at my desk, an overload of work to do with no air conditioning. I am a little irritable right now and melting. This is Seattle – where’s the rain?
    Bill went to a lot of work to post this for us in the middle of all that he is doing.
    I for one am hoping a little Jen and Zen and intuitiveness rubs off on me in Italy next spring and after watching the new film.
    OKAY I’m starting the ball rolling.
    How do you all feel about Zen? Intuition?


    • Hey Lynda,

      You’re my cheerleader! I love it!!

      I was out on a 15km walk when you posted this, that’s why I didn’t respond straight away. Peter Landers has put me onto a Fitbit tracker, and it immediately appealed to my goal oriented obsessive nature. Today I’ve already walked 20,000 steps, and only ingested 330 calories – and it’s 3:20pm here in Mudgee.

      Thanks for doing a ra-ra. Sometimes posts get read and don’t prompt comments, other times they start a wildfire, as you know! (Fire = Burning Dwarf) (Wildfire = Wild Burning Dwarf).

      What that post didn’t say was the influence of Jobs’ study of calligraphy had on the Mac aesthetic. All those wonderful fonts which Apple invented came as a result of Steve Jobs’ study and knowledge of Zen calligraphy.

      Fascinating huh?

      (hope you and Dale are well!) Bill

      ____________________ Bill Bennett +61 412 944 777


      Liked by 1 person

      • Fitbit????

        What happened to the Bill and Peter from the Camino Portuguese who abandoned their technology and allowed their intuition to guide them?
        Or was it the Camino that was guiding them?


        • Haha – both Peter and I LOVE gadgets! And next pilgrimage, I’ll throw it all away again. But right at the moment it’s a good way to get me out on the road on those minus 2C mornings here in Mudgee!!

          Liked by 1 person

      • Bill
        We are both well although we feel like we are melting. Just finished working for the day and it’s still 85 degrees F inside the house at 1:30 AM!! We generally don’t have this much heat. Not sure what minus 2 C is in F degrees but it sounds really cold. We are doing about 1200 calories a day but need to get back to walking and the gym. Granddaughter had a ruptured appendix and we babysat our 7 year old grandson for two weeks while daughter stayed at hospital with granddaughter. Got out of going to exercise and now its hard getting back with it.
        I did say by Italy my weight is going to be way down so I really need to walk and exercise more.
        Give a hug to Jen for us!


        • Hi Lynda, wow, 1200 cal per day is intense. Particularly in the heat you’re currently experiencing. But no doubt it’s producing results. It’s hard motivating yourself each day, isn’t it. Today on my 15km walk my knee twinged repeatedly for the first time since wearing the brace. I hope it sorts out ok.


      • Hey, Lynda, you should come to San Francisco! It appears never to rain here, and in the middle of what should be summer, it’s pleasantly cool enough to need a cardigan 🙂 I’m loving my stay here!!! And as for intuition, I’ve followed that for years, although I must say it’s not helping me one little bit with using a Mac computer. My intuition just does not compute with that!!! Go figure? 🙂 Britta


        • Britta
          I don’t need intuition for using the computer! I have my husband! Ha Ha!
          I do like San Francisco. Been there a few times. The seafood at the Wharf is delicious and the candy place up the way is yummy. Gotta go. I’m making myself hungry and I’ve already eaten all my allowed calories for the day.
          PS. Enjoying your emails!


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