Steve Jobs’ Age of the Digital Lifestyle

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha

Harare, Zimbabwe – Steve Jobs without doubt affected my world view through his trendsetting personal computer designs.I know this post is rather overdue but its something that I had to take off my heart. I’m so convinced as exemplified by Steve Jobs’ genius that when you follow your purpose you can touch the soul of the world.In my world, celebrating genius and excellence in whatever shape and form it comes is as vital as my every breath.

I first encountered Steve Jobs through his trendsetting  “Think Different” advertising campaign. Even though I didn’t own an Apple computer I – just like the rest of my friends – could not resist the temptation to just hang the “Think Different” campaign poster in my room.

Apparently, the campaign was created for Apple Computer in 1997 by the Los Angeles office of advertising agency TBWA\Chiat\Day. That campaign made me think of anything Apple as a smart alternative, an idea that was confirmed by the out-of-the box designs that defined Apple products. I guess the miracle lay in the text of the campaign which set Apple products apart by influencing a way of seeing the world:

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. – Apple Inc.

Apparently, the ad campaign marked the beginning of Apple’s re-emergence as technical giant. Isn’t it interesting that the “Think Different” has been criticized as a slogan for being grammatically incorrect. “Think” is a verb and should take the adverb, “differently”, not the adjective, “different”. The bottom line is that is broke the rules, and the campaign symbolised counterculture and leftist artsy intellectualism.

As I see it, the underlying philosophy of that ad campaign was that it did not trumpet product features and price but instead focused on brand image. In fact, a key rule of the campaign was that there would be no products in the ads.

Besides the products that he fashioned and his apparent genius, Jobs was tenacious, persistent and resilient. He suffered so many setbacks in his career but always came back with super-fantastic personal computing designs that wowed the whole world. According to Newsweek.com, Jobs didn’t just create products that instilled lust in consumers and enriched his company.

All in all, Jobs was a brilliant and protean creator whose inventions so utterly transformed the allure of technology. To me, he left behind a concept that I will forever seek to apply in my life and work: the simplicity of intelligent design. Jobs valued simplicity, utility and beauty in ways that shaped his creative imagination. He certainly left a significant mark that will forever influence the age of the digital lifestyle.

How to Unlock the Magic of Listening

Unlocking the magic of listening is perhaps one of the best ways for you to have a life filled with friendship, love, joy and happiness.  

Listening can help you to break through barriers, and help you to connect with people at a deeper, fundamental level.  

It is about wholly paying attention to what someone has to say so that you have a full grasp of what they have to say. 

Unfortunately, listening is not a skill that we are taught. It is assumed that listening is more an automatic impulse that has nothing to do with active personal engagement.  But hearing what someone has said is not quite the same thing as listening.

Your heart and mind should be open so that you can properly understand what someone has to say. 

According to motivational speaker Barbara White, the art of listening also involves watching the person’s body language, maintaining eye contact, asking for clarification when needed and also listening for the unspoken message. 

The constant rush of what we think and feel within the self is perhaps the greatest hurdle to effective listening. Overcoming it takes time, perseverance and practice. 

You have to engage in mindfulness when you are listening, that is, an ability to bring yourself to a situation where you take into your soul and spirit what someone is saying to you before you can make a judgment. 

The process of truly listening thus requires serious investment on the part of the listener. To unlock the power of listening, you have to bring an attitude of humility and mental awakeness to the process. 

Many people “sleep listen”.

They appear to pay attention but in reality all they catch is a glimpse of what the other party is saying, and they immediately rush to respond, thus breaking down the communication process. 

Instead, you have to create an open space within self that gracefully accepts what the other person has to say without being tempted to interject. By being mindful of your own being, you can keep a tab on your own desire to talk back so that you give the speaker an opportunity to complete their thought pattern.  

If you become a prisoner to your own thoughts and desires, you destroy the communicative act because self-engagement destroys the power of listening. To effectively listen, you must step outside the confinement of your own ego-centric self.  

You must therefore strive to always be in the present moment, fully aware of what the other person is saying, neither analyzing nor judging, but listening in order to get to the heart of the matter of what they have to say. 

Unlocking the power of listening is a personal choice it is not something that can be forced upon an individual.  But the fact is that listening can maximize the quality of human connection, bonding and understanding, and in the process, help to build a better vision of who we are, and the goals that we seek to achieve at personal, family, community, business and international levels. 

Our humanness is so very interdependent, and sharing is very much its lifeblood. Effective listening is a form of acceptance that we are not the only ones that matter in the overall scheme of things.  Listening is a gift that you can share at no cost at all.

If anything, you will be richly blessed in your own life for doing just that.  Through listening whole heartedly and unconditionally, you will reap a multitude of rewards that enhance your personal relationships. 

As Jim Rohn says: “One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention.”