This is a collection of the lessons I’ve learned so far about being open-minded, remembering myself in others’ shoes, and being skilled at listening (and understanding).
Steve Jobs was smart enough to learn a few lessons about interacting with humans before he reached his status as the world’s greatest innovator. Although at the time he was discussing tech, people remember that the greatest impact of his work wasn’t yet coming out in new products. It was actually being altered by experience — real people.
Imagine what a world-changing product would look like if he had understood this thing called the mind…
I’ve tried to take this lesson back to my own work, so that I can make sure that when we work together, we are not just changing the world, but also learning something important about ourselves in the process.
This is one of the basic lessons about humanity that we’ve been taught ever since we first learned to talk. And it’s what I believe is the single most important lesson we can learn from one another.
We don’t give a damn about their will, except as a placeholder, because if we did, then we’d just be answering questions and finding solutions. This is also why we don’t play video games, who can agree on a single end result if they were each to hand a controller and stick figure joystick to their opponent?
Instead, we invent space-age (but earth-like) innovations around what happens when we take a radically different view of reality.
The world cannot bear the weight of an individual’s opinion on anything. Anyone has the right to his or her opinion, but the weight and influence of “the people” is equivalent to the “hecklers” of ancient times.
Cultivating an openness to learning happens by continuing to teach, and help others help themselves to learn, which includes me.