Innovation is not about perfection on the surface but on areas where no one can see. Having started a company, I’ve finally come to acknowledge the concept that a product is the reflection of its creator, and we are the reflection of our subconscious. I began to understand that we must first develop an inspired subconscious with experiences and knowledge before we are able to create something that’s meaningful to others while being true to ourselves.
If I don’t lead a successful lifestyle, I will never be capable of understanding innovations. To create a better company, I have to be better, and I need to start from within, my root, my subconscious. A person cannot have a messy habit and appear organized at the same time because changing the surface of things is never enough to sustain in the long run; the very same reason why Steve Jobs was always critical about being perfect at the areas of his products where no one can see.
It's about habits and finishing the long race.
Understanding that my subconscious beliefs and values are direct expressions of whatever that I do, improving my habits can theoretically improve my creativity; I began looking at modern successful leaders’ habits for inspirations and guidance. What I found was the similarities that all great leaders share; they wake up early, exercise, maintain healthy diet, write down gratitudes, read news, meditate, and manage a happy work-life balance. I don’t need to be a successful person before I can adopt successful habits from top minds I thought. Even if it doesn’t bolster my entrepreneurial potential, it is good for me as a human generally anyways; there’s nothing to lose. I knew then that my project for me this year would be "me".
When I read Isaacson’s work about Jobs and his love for Beatles and Bob Dylan had me figured that great minds do attract each other. I’m never much a music person plus does music really have anything to do with rewiring one’s subconscious? I wasn’t sure, but I decided to give it a go anyways; I wanted to follow Jobs’ footstep I thought, and I also wanted to develop better tastes in music other than listening to pop on the radio and game music. It was a job to listen to Beatles at first, but slowly, I’m beginning to enjoy their work and even to love music altogether! On the side, I started listening to Mozart and Cirque du Soleil soundtracks to cover my crave for the more out-of-the-world experience that I usually seek from video game music. As a result, I began to feel a fundamental change at work. My hypothesis ended up to be true. Each time I listen to Beatle’s music, I feel not only I’m getting to know them, but I felt I could peek inside their genius and innovation; unconsciously, their work began to alter my thought processes. It could a bias conclusion, but placebo effect is sometimes more powerful than real medicines, and that is exactly what I need at the moment.
To further push myself forward, I wondered if I had time to learn from mentors or friends, I’d have time to read and inherit advice from world’s top minds such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Einstein, Steve Jobs, Sun Tsu, Confucious, renown professors, world class researchers, and the list goes on. I have them as teachers, and it’s as if they’d come to my home each day to teach me about timeless principles, industry advice, and research reports that no one in my life circle is ever able to offer. Friendship is a reflection of one’s self, so the better I can become, the better friends I can make in the future I thought. Though being a little hypocritical, there’s a saying by James Miles that I’ll always remember, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” In time, it’s an ideal I’d wish to follow where I don’t attempt to make friends because of there’s benefits. But again, in order to be wise, one has to be young and stupid first.
I had a feeling following their doctrines consciously are not enough. I also challenged myself to start living as them; I imagine myself a respectful and influential leader who happens to be starting over in life living as me. The exercise would inspire questions on a day-to-day basis such as would Jobs work in a mess? Will Gandhi buy this new technology to aid his goal? Would Martin Luther King Jr. argue about the subject I’m facing right now. The exercise encourages me to keep my habits, values and ideals in check. It’s been almost half an year, and sometimes there are setbacks, but I persisted, and now I have gained better controls of myself and develop a set of principles I could follow. The exercise seems feasible, and I will continue to explore its potential.
Having started a company, it’s understandable that every entrepreneur is working equally hard for their own dreams and passions, but I believe the ones who persevere are the ones who are prepared. Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell. The project on me is about preparation and building potentials. Entrepreneurship is not a job, it is a calling. I will no longer remain an opportunist who builds derivative products. So, I will wait; I will learn; I will become a better person for myself, my family, and all those around me.