What Leonardo Da Vinci and Steve Jobs Have in Common

leonardosteve

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What Leonardo Da Vinci and Steve Jobs had in common?

In my attempt to collect the most of what life has to teach, I stumbled upon a concept that dazzled me. Ever since my days in school, I found it difficult to understand complex matters. The more complicated the topic was, the more I hated it.

This issue of complexity is what drove me away from topics such as math and physics. However, what I never understood was why I liked chemistry, which by all counts is a complicated subject. It turns out it all had something to do with the teachers. It was how they presented the subject to me.

This is a very critical issue, as we all choose our field of specialization based on what subjects we liked in school. So what is the key factor that differentiated the physics teacher from the chemistry teacher?

The answer is simple. It’s simplicity.

The physics teacher took ages to explain a concept that takes seconds. The chemistry teacher did exactly the opposite. Guess who gained my respect in the end? The chemistry teacher. Not only that, a few years later, he was appointed as the head of the entire school.

Albert Einstein once said: “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

Leonardo Da Vinci was famous for saying: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

To simplify means you have total control over the matter you are dealing with.

When pitching an idea to potential investors, simplicity is important. It makes it realistic.

When a commander simplifies the mission to his soldiers, they believe that it’s doable and follow him.

Even in technology. The simpler the more beautiful. Long gone are the days when we admired complex things. Steve Jobs figured this out early. “You could see it in everything he created. He was a dominant person who liked to understand what he had in hands and simplify it for his customers. He once said:

“That’s been one of my mantras- focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Simplicity is power.

Simplify you life, your wishes, your products, and your words.

 

Until next time,

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Following The Ant

ant

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FOLLOWING THE ANT

We are constantly faced by difficulties in life. Everybody’s got their fair share of obstacles.

Upon encountering our first obstacles, some of us simply escape or avoid them. Some turn the other way. Some wait and stare at them hoping they will somehow disappear. Most of us are wired that way, we hate facing reality.

To be fair, facing difficulties isn’t fun as it occurs. You are confused, you feel unprepared, your heart is beating, and you feel surrounded but all the negativity there is to exist.

However, there are a few who somehow always seem to be calm about the situation. They dedicate their energy into finding a solution through or around the obstacle. These are whom I like to call the adapters.

These obstacles are there placed on your path for a reason, to help carve your character. The trick isn’t to whine about its existence. It was going to meet you despite the path you take. Once you get this cemented into your mind, it becomes easier to deal with the rest.

If an ant is walking by (ants do not have eyes), and it is suddenly faced by any obstacle, what does it do? It simply touches it to identify the size of the obstacle, it assesses the situation, if it is small it’ll climb it, if not, it’ll go around it.

The trick here is the ability to change.

We have a sense of rigidity when it comes to change. It takes us time to admit our mistakes. Whether it is the wrong career path, the wrong spouse, the wrong lifestyle we lead. We find it hard to change, because we fear what people might think of us. We fear the unknown. This is what I know, what will happen if I change to something I don’t know.

We are pessimistic when it comes to change. Why do we fear the unknown? Why can’t we alter our paths?

Let’s look at Christopher Columbus.

When he was refused financing for his famous exploration voyage to the West from Portugal, Genoa and Venice, he didn’t give up. He went to the King and Queen of Spain.

He altered his plan. He definitely didn’t want foreigners to fund his voyage, but he knew he had to be flexible to get what he wanted.

This ability to change and adapt to the current situation is what distinguishes all the haves from the have-nots. Read any story about a successful person and you’ll notice this trait.

They all followed the ant.

Until next time,

A Time Machine

oldtimers

Image coutesy of 1914-1918.net

A TIME MACHINE

Living in the 21st century is complicated. We don’t have the same dreams as people of previous generations. If it was 1814, the average person’s dream would be to hop on a boat, and hopefully arrive safely in the United States to try their luck there. The most a person dreamt of would have been a small shack and a family.

If it was 1914, the dream would have probably been to see the Great War end to go back and live a simple peaceful life with the family.

However, it isn’t 1814 or 1914. It’s 2014.

People want it all. The money, the fame, the great looks, the “likes,” the success, the love, the easy life.

What most people don’t realize is that earth is the same for us and the people who inhabited it before us. We play on the same ground. We have the same 24 hours a day. Why do we look down on them. Why do we subliminally feel sorry for them. Is it because they didn’t look as clean as we do. Or had an easier life as we do. Or perhaps because they were vulnerable to all sort of plagues and diseases, and had a shorter life expectancy rate.

Have we ever thought of how someone living in 1914 would look at someone living in 2014?

Men are wearing skinny clothes, girls are half naked. People speak softly. People don’t have basic life skills. If your tire is down, you call someone. If the water leaks, you call a plumber. If you have a problem with your wife, you call a lawyer.

Families are disassembled. You can’t speak off your mind, you have to be politically correct or others will judge you. You have no privacy, everything you do is monitored by someone.

The question we have to ask is, “whom should we feel sorry for?”

Until next time,

The Alliance of Virtues

alliance

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“An alliance is a pact, coalition or friendship between two or more parties, made in order to advance common goals and to secure common interests.” -Wikipedia.

Alliances have always between associated with politics. As mentioned in the definition, why can’t it simply be a friendship or an oath amongst friends to advance common goals or interests.

I read a while ago a story about a merchant who was took his merchandise to a big city to sell. A rich noble man bought all the merchandise but promised to pay in a few days.

After a few days the merchant went to ask for the money, but the rich man began avoiding him and delaying the payment.

The merchant went to the city chiefs to complain, but they all stood by the noble man’s side.

The man stood on a high pillar in the middle of the market and began shouting: “who would help an innocent stranger? who would help him against an apparent aggressor?”

One noble man couldn’t accept what was going on. He gathered other strong noble men and they all took an oath not to stand by any aggression as long as they live. This would become known as “The Alliance of Virtues.”

They all went to the aggressor, they threatened him until he returned all the merchandise to the innocent merchant.

It is as if they said “not under our watch.”

 

I hereby would like to propose creating a Virtues Alliance. Let’s make a pact with those around us to oppose:

  • Aggression
  • Cheating
  • Inflicting pain on others for one’s own gain

Go ahead take that oath. Change yourself and those around you.  

 

Until next time,

 

P.S. “A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.”

No matter who you are, you will never want to be on the losing side. It’s a terrible feeling being bullied and not having someone stand for justice.

Under My Father’s Shadow

Father

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Discipline is an essential part of success and growth in every single field of life.

You can’t have a drunk pilot. You can’t have banker who steals. You can’t have a doctor with a fetish. You can’t have a leader that lies. (Well, the last one exists, so just skip it)!

The point is discipline and self control are very essential. Without them one will lose focus, credibility, and eventually success.

The source of all these problems is simply, “house virtues.” Parents aren’t doing their jobs like they used to in the past few decades. I remember how my father brought me up. It was the old school way. I don’t need to get deep into what that is like because we all know what “old school” means. His job was to bring out the man in me. Period.

He didn’t hit or shout at me. He simply lead me by being a role model. I watched and recorded until I one day understood why he was doing certain things that way.

He put his principles before everything. He works hard. He tries to never complain. He provides, even at hard times. He never put his needs before us. He definitely gave more than he got out of his family.

To be fair, there were some negative things I noticed along the way.

He wasn’t friendly and our relationship never became personal. I never understood why. Everything was formal with him.

But as I grew older, I realized it wasn’t his job to be my friend or homie. He was my father, my mentor, the leader. He wasn’t there to entertain me. He was there to prepare me for what would later turn out to be a hard knock life.

He lead by example. He gained my respect.

This is to all the hard workers out there leading by example, whether you are a father, mother, manager, farmer, teacher etc… keep leading by example. Nothing tops the feeling of earning other people’s respect.

As Maya Angelou once said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

 

Until next time,

The Man In The Mirror

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As I write the first article, many thoughts are going through my mind. Sharing experiences, thoughts, and aspirations were the real motives behind this blog. Personal development through learning from others was another.

I will try to take you through history, geography, politics, ethnicity or any other barrier we create in order to grow and continue growing so as to hopefully one day feel content with what we have accomplished and where we are.

The key is to do it in a simple fashion, adding something new with every article. With each article I hope to spark your thought. This site will try to create these AHHAA inspiration moments. I’m not here to collect likes or receive validation. We’re here to have simple takes on personal development from all aspects of life.

Let’s begin…

I would like to start with a conversation I had with a friend a few years ago.

THE MAN IN THE MIRROR

I was discussing with him the current economical and political situation and how lots of work needs to be done. There are many setbacks, no motivation, and feelings of disgust whenever I speak to anyone. I was wondering what was needed to kickstart the economy, how to resolve the numerous problems faced by all of us. I couldn’t find a simple solution.

My friend said he had a simple solution. I asked what it was. He said:

“start with the man in the mirror.”

I laughed and said: “are you really quoting Michael Jackson in such a deep conversation?” He said: “if everybody began by working on themselves, we would have an intellectual society that respects the law and can be motivated to do anything.” He said that: “virtues were the foundation upon which we should build on.”

A while ago, I read a poem that went something like this:

“nations are built on benevolent virtues

if these are gone, so are the nations.”

 Working on developing your own virtues is the foundation upon which one should build. Without a solid ground, a solid set of beliefs and values, you are no different than the others.

Be unique, build your character, expand your mind. Everything else will follow.

Don’t complain about your situation, trust me there are people in worst situations. You are not here to judge me or other people for that matter. Just focus on your self.

Just focus on developing that “man in the mirror.”

Until next time.