The Steve Jobs Guide to Being More Creative

Interested in being more creative?

See if you can answer this question…

What do the following things have in common?

  • Typography
  • Buddhism
  • Organic Food and Holistic Medicine

They were all passions of one of the greatest visionaries of our time.

In a world that pressures us to fit into specialized molds, you might be surprised that Steve Jobs didn’t spend 100% of his time devoted to computer or technology-based pursuits.  Far from it.

But it’s precisely this range of interests that gave Jobs an edge over his competitors.  Because he studied such a wide variety of topics, he was able to combine what he learned and express them in unique ways.

Jobs’ fascination with typography offered him insight into the principles of design aesthetics.  He applied these not only to build computers that worked well, but pleased the eye in the process.  A nod to elegant design is apparent in every facet of Apple’s business: from its retail store layout to product packaging; from the rounded corners of its laptops to its beautiful operating systems.

Studying Buddhism helped Jobs appreciate simplicity.  As a result, he stripped many of the complications traditionally associated with using a computer.  Apple’s layouts, menus, and icons rely heavily on visual aids to help inexperienced users get up to speed.  Their website is simple, too.  Simple and effective.

The organic food thing – well, I’m not exactly sure how that helped Jobs build his business, but I’m sure it played a role!  Apple’s latest headphone design features ear buds shaped like the human ear.  I think that’s a good example of using technology to work with nature instead of swimming against the current by trying to get us to stuff rubber “radio knobs” into our ears.

A lot of people think being more creative means learning as much as they can about ONE area and waiting for an original idea to strike.  They couldn’t be further from the truth.

Don’t get caught up in perfectionThe essence of creativity is the ability to take unrelated ideas and tie them together to create something new.

True creativity is jazz music.  True creativity is Shakespeare.  True creativity is tumbling old ideas around in your head like socks in a washing machine until you spit out something new.

You’re a unique person with your own set of interests.  Don’t cave in to the pressure to specialize.  And forget about letting people tell you what you “should” know.  What do you want to know?

It’s up to you to tie it all together and create something valuable.  Something that’s completely, unmistakably you.

It’s the only way I know of to make a lot of money and have the time of your life doing it.

And I wouldn’t give up being a jack-of-all-trades for the world!

P.S. What are your passions?  How can you combine them in a unique way to come up with new business ideas or improve upon existing ones?  Leave me a comment and let me know how you plan on being more creative.