Except from an amazing comment by a 30-year-long-friend of Steve Jobs --
...what Steve meant in the words "Think Different"—is MINDFULNESS. Mindfulness means paying attention to your present-moment experience as it is received through your sense doors. Where HBS would have business managers pack their present-moment experiences with theoretical frameworks and opinions, "Think Different" means: Drop ALL your theories, concepts & preconceived ideas. PAY ATTENTION instead to the raw reality coming in through your five senses and your mind. This is where you will find real insight and wisdom.In trying to understand how Steve Jobs succeeded as a CEO, Isaacson is like someone who has never played basketball observing what he see as the elements of Michael Jordan's success. Michael Jordan sweats, makes serious expressions on his face, leans as he passes the basketball, etc. This is an outside observer's view who doesn't see things from Michael Jordan's vantage point or and doesn't gets what is going on in Michael's mind.
It's not easy, certainly. But it is simple: "Make truth your first priority."
Before anything else, before your emotions, before your desires, before your beliefs, AND EVEN BEFORE WHAT MAKES SENSE...
Before what you have always believed and found to be true...
Before everything else, place the actual truth.
And if you can do that, if you can make that your priority, if you can make it the absolute and uncompromising standard of your life...
If you can align yourself with truth so that it becomes the foundation of your life, the most important thing in consideration, if you can do this simple thing,
Then yeah, you can drop your preconceived notions at the same time that you stand on your experiences. Which, really, means that you're not getting in the way of yourself by making what you believe more important than what's true.
Act I: The Discovery of Conflict Invigoration
I recently discovered a phenomenon common among many highly successful people. I'm calling it "conflict invigoration" - this is a personality trait, a mixed blessing and curse. It's the kind of person who can move heaven and earth when inspired, but doesn't do as well when they aren't... and who is always invigorated by a fight.
I first noticed conflict invigoration among a number of the most successful people I knew personally. See, I don't think this is an entirely new observation, but a lot of the people that reach stratospheric levels of success are kind of deranged. You almost have to be, to keep going after you've "won" by every conceivable measure, to work yourself to the bone at the expense of your sanity and longevity and vitality, to neglect so many of the basic human needs and pleasures and comforts.
I saw this trait in lots of successful people, and then I started paying attention to biographies and histories. Indeed, many of the most expansive people in our generation and previous ones are conflict invigorated - they've perhaps always got a baseline of creativity and striving, but it really comes out when a fight breaks out.
"Competition is always a fantastic thing, and the computer industry is intensely competitive." - Bill Gates
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way of being. It is a way of connecting with your life. It is being aware of the present moment. Being in a closer relation to what’s going on right now. It doesn’t matter what you are paying attention to, but it should be enjoyable, not an effort. Mindfulness is a powerful silence, outside and in, that nourishes us and heals us. The more you concentrate or meditate on something, the more beauty it will have.
Think back to when you were a kid, if you can’t do that, think of a kid you know or have seen on television. Kids live their lives in the present moment, without judgment. They don’t worry about the future or the past; they live for what is going on right now.
Greater mindfulness = Greater happiness, love, wisdom, emotional balance, peace of mind, and relationships.