How Intuition Inspired the Mac

The best testimonies about the value of intuition come from people who are unarguably successful. In this excerpt from a commencement speech at Stanford University given by legendary Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs a few years back, Jobs talks about following intuitive choices throughout his life that had no practical value at the time. Yet, years later, he would credit those choices with helping him to achieve monumental success as an entrepreneur.

He gives the example of taking a class in calligraphy during his college years. He didn’t think calligraphy would help him along his career path; he wasn’t considering a career in it. But something told him to take the class, and he did. Ten years later when Apple was designing the first Macintosh computer, memories of that class inspired him to create a computer that used “beautiful typography.”

Jobs also said that he didn’t know the importance of following that hunch back then; it took 10 years for him to understand – and reap the benefits of – going with his gut.

Intuitive Action Item: Refrain from coming up with a reason to do something you have the urge to do. As Jobs discovered, intuition is about acting even if you don’t know why: “You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future,” he said. “You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

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