In reality, the brain can be trained to get closer to the optimal state of mind needed to consistently access your very best skills on the golf course. The left side is responsible for logical and analytical thinking, whereas the right side is more holistic, visual and intuitive. Most people are left-brain dominant, according to neuroanatomist Dr. Having selected the best shot using your left-brain, your cognitive thinking is turned off and replaced by relaxed-concentration. This state of mind, could also be thought of as Zen Golf. The opposite is when there is cognitive interference, or left-brain dominance as you are getting ready to hit.
All this will break down the flow and decrease your chances of fluid motion and hitting a good shot. Brain waves are the electrical impulses that move between synapses inside the brain. This bio-feedback can tell us a lot about our state of mind. This burst of alpha waves is what balances the brain to create the peak performance state — when this happens, you are completely present, more aware, more trusting and more focused. When your brain shifts gears to focus on a specific thought—in either a positive or negative way—alpha oscillations tend to disappear and higher frequency oscillations begin running the show.
Zen Meditation has been used for thousands of years by Buddhist monks, but more and more people are taking it up each year as a way to reduce day to day stress and feel happier. When you meditate, you produce more alpha waves. Essentially, meditation for golf gives you more control over your mind, improving your ability to stay present and not judge yourself or what is in your environment. The amygdala uses cognitive information from the brain to determine the level of stress and danger in your environment. Meditation is thought to shrink the amygdala and hence lower your stress response.
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There is an absence of discursive thought and judgment, so the person is totally free to act and react towards an opponent without hesitation and without disturbance from such thoughts. At this point, a person relies not on what they think should be the next move, but what is their trained natural reaction or what is felt intuitively. It is not a state of relaxed, near-sleepfulness, however. The mind could be said to be working at a very high speed, but with no intention, plan or direction.
On being fired from Apple and called back 12 years later: What a circle of life. You know? Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know…. We could be sitting in a monastery somewhere in Japan. We could be out sailing. Some of the executive team could be playing golf. They could be running other companies. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.
And we think it is. But so what? What you really regret was never asking that girl to dance. No one wants to die. I think death is the most wonderful invention of life. It purges the system of these old models that are obsolete. Death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life. I was lucky, I found what I loved to do early in life.
And you have to do it over a sustained period of time. That was one of the things that came out most clearly from this whole experience [with cancer]. I realized that I love my life. I really do. I love my family, and I love running Apple, and I love Pixar. And I get to do that. You get your wind back, remember the finish line, and keep going. It is so hard. You put so much of your life into this thing.
There are such rough moments in time that I think most people give up. Literally, you know, 7 days a week, a lot of hours every day. And it actually is a wonderful thing to do, because you can get a lot done. Almost everyone who worked on it will say that. None of us wanted to release it at the end. What was incredible to me was that I could see the Mac team in the first few rows.
Everyone started crying. Pixar has been a marathon, not a sprint. There are times when you run a marathon and you wonder, why am I doing this? But you take a drink of water, and around the next bend, you get your wind back, remember the finish line, and keep going. My wife deserves all the credit for keeping me at it.
Zen Golf: How To Free Yourself Of Your Thoughts and Emotions
On his father: He was a machinist by trade and worked very hard and was kind of a genius with his hands. It really was very good for me. He spent a lot of time with me… teaching me how to build things, how to take things apart, put things back together. And it was a big deal. You see the world differently. She supported me and kept the family together with a husband in absentia. Most people never pick up the phone and call.
Most people never ask. As you may know, I was basically fired from Apple when I was 30 and was invited to come back 12 years later so that was difficult when it happened but maybe the best thing that could ever happen to me. I feel like somebody just punched me in the stomach and knocked all my wind out. And Apple is not going to give me a chance to do that.
But we always do; we realize another way. Life goes on and you learn from it. Each year has been so robust with problems and successes and learning experiences and human experiences that a year is a lifetime at Apple. When I was 12 or 13, I wanted to build something and I needed some parts, so I picked up the phone and called Bill Hewlett — he was listed in the Palo Alto phone book.
He answered the phone and he was real nice. He chatted with me for, like, 20 minutes. Assembling may be too strong. I was putting in screws. And when people ask me, I try to be as responsive, to pay that debt of gratitude back. You gotta act. And I find myself believing a bit more. I think different religions are different doors to the same house. Fortunately, my training has been in doing things that take a long time.
I was at Apple 10 years. I would have preferred to be there the rest of my life. I have been trained to think in units of time that are measured in several years. To do anything of magnitude takes at least five years, more likely seven or eight. I want to build really good tools that I know in my gut and my heart will be valuable. Then you just stand back and get out of the way, and these things take on a life of their own. On starting Apple with Steve Wozniak: We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a 2 billion company with over employees.
I remember many late nights coming out of the Mac building when I would have the most incredibly powerful feelings about my life. I think this is the start of something really big. Another priority was to make Apple more entrepreneurial and startup-like. So we immediately reorganized, drastically narrowed the product line, and changed compensation for senior managers so they get a lot of stock but no cash bonuses. The upshot is that the place feels more like a young company. You know how many committees we have at Apple? We have no committees. We are organized like a start-up.
We are organized like a startup. We are the biggest startup on the planet. We are aware that we are doing something significant. Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future. Very rarely do we get a chance to put something back into that pool. I think we have that opportunity now. See also: Tim Ferriss quotes On business, productivity, startups, etc. The best ideas have to win.
My model for business is The Beatles. They balanced each other, and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. We have wonderful arguments. Whatever hassles you have, there is a bond. The vision pulls you. We cook up new products. You never really know if people will love them as much as you do. I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been. Since the very, very beginning. Part 1. There needs to be someone who is the keeper and reiterator of the vision.
Part 2. So in a thousand and one little, and sometimes larger ways, the vision needs to be reiterated. I do that a lot. When I got back here in , I was looking for more room, and I found an archive of old Macs and other stuff. You have to look forward. We figure out what we want. Neither of us had any idea that this would go anywhere. Woz is motivated by figuring things out. He concentrated more on the engineering and proceeded to do one of his most brilliant pieces of work, which was the disk drive, another key engineering feat that made the Apple II a possibility.
I was trying to build the company, trying to find out what a company was. The best example of all and one of the greatest jobs of marketing that the universe has ever seen, is Nike. Remember, Nike sells a commodity. They sell shoes. And yet, when you think of Nike, you feel something different than a shoe company.
Zen in the Martial Arts
What does Nike do in their advertising? They honor great athletes, and they honor great athletics. More important than building a product, we are in the process of architecting a company that will hopefully be much more incredible, the total will be much more incredible than the sum of its parts. Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?
My dream is that every person in the world will have their own Apple computer. None of the really bright people I knew in college went into politics. All of them are in business now, which is funny, because they were the same people who trekked off to India or who tried in one way or another to find some sort of truth about life. Our goal is to make the best personal computers in the world. We have a major opportunity to influence where Apple is going. As every day passes, the work fifty people are doing here is going to send a giant ripple through the universe.
I am really impressed with the quality of our ripple. Someone who really wants to get a little over his head and make a little dent in the universe. What I do all day, is meet with teams of people, and work on ideas, and solve problems, to make new products, to make new marketing programs, whatever it is. What they need is a common vision. What are customers saying? How responsive are we? Do we have the best products and the best people? Those are the kind of questions you have to focus on. About 10, of them are in the stores. Some of them are just key individual contributors.
When a good idea comes, you know, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know — just explore things. Companies, as they grow to become multi-billion-dollar entities, somehow lose their vision. They insert lots of layers of middle management between the people running the company and the people doing the work. They no longer have an inherent feel or a passion about the products.
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The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay. My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better. My job is to pull things together from different parts of the company and clear the ways and get the resources for the key projects. And to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better, coming up with more aggressive visions of how it could be.
And that keeps the B players, the bozos, from larding the organization, only the A players survive. I want to see what people are like under pressure. If they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself. We hire people who want to make the best things in the world. They work nights and weekends, sometimes not seeing their families for a while. Sometimes people work through Christmas to make sure the tooling is just right at some factory in some corner of the world so our product comes out the best it can be.
People care so much, and it shows. They have to be really smart. But the real issue for me is, are they going to fall in love with Apple? All we are is our ideas or people. The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world. We do it ourselves and we spend a lot of time at it. So I take it very seriously. How do I feel about this person? Why are they here? And everything else will take care of itself. But nonetheless it has to be done and it is never fun. That really turned out to be a bozo product. Why did you work on that? I want to see if they just fold or if they have firm conviction, belief, and pride in what they did.
You should never start a company with the goal of getting rich. Your goal should be making something you believe in and making a company that will last. It will just ruin their lives. And if you die without kids, it will all go to the Government. Almost everyone would think that he could invest the money back into humanity in a much more astute way than the Government could. The challenges are to figure out how to live with it and to reinvest it back into the world, which means either giving it away or using it to express your concerns or values.
It was giant! I mean, it was phenomenal! This year, it will be a billion and a half. The neatest thing was, by , I was able to walk into classrooms that had 15 Apple computers and see the kids using them. And those are the kinds of things that are really the milestones.
Thurston Moore: punk rocker with a Zen attitude
None of those people care about the money. It was the chance to actually try something, to fail, to succeed, to grow. To me, marketing is about values. And we not gonna get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us. The only chance we have of communicating is with a feeling. You saw the commercial. This is now the way we want computers to go. This is not the legacy we want to leave. This is not what we want our kids to be learning.
This is wrong and we are going to show you the right way to do it and here it is. Rand Fishkin. Humans are tool builders. We create things to amplify ourselves. What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on. I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer, should learn a computer language because it teaches you how to think.
Talking about bicycles: Human are tool builders, and we build tools that can dramatically amplify our innate human abilities. We actually ran an ad like this early at Apple that the personal computer is the bicycle of the mind and I believe that with every bone in my body that all the inventions of humans, the computer is going to rank near, if not at the top, as history unfolds and we look back. It is the most awesome tool that we ever invented the computer. And I feel incredibly lucky to be at exactly the right place in Silicon Valley, at exactly the right time historically where this invention has taken form.
It can be a writing tool, a communications center, a super calculator, a planner, a filer and an artistic instrument all in one, just by being given new instructions, or software, to work from. There are no other tools that have the power and versatility of a computer. Right now, computers make our lives easier. They do work for us in fractions of a second that would take us hours. They increase the quality of life, some of that by simply automating drudgery and some of that by broadening our possibilities.
These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. People are thinking less than they used to.
No matter how much information the Web can dish out, most people get far more information than they can assimilate anyway. But the next thing is going to be computer as guide or agent. Maybe he knew how addictive these technologies were. One of the things that made Apple great was that, in the early days, it was built from the heart. The roots of Apple were to build computers for people, not for corporations. I want to make a phone that people love. Think about it.
What are the great brands? Most people would put Apple in that category. You could spend billions of dollars building a brand not as good as Apple. What is Apple, after all? Hardware, software, developer relations, marketing.
Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. What we want to do is make a leapfrog product that is way smarter than any mobile device has ever been, and super-easy to use. This is what iPhone is. We designed iMac to deliver the things consumers care about most: the excitement of the Internet and the simplicity of the Mac.
The doing is more concrete. But usually when you dig a little deeper, you find that the people that really did it were also the people that really worked through the hard intellectual problems as well. I discovered that the best innovation is sometimes the company, the way you organize a company. The whole notion of how you build a company is fascinating.
Leonardo [da Vinci] was the artist but he also mixed all his own paints. He also was a fairly good chemist. He knew about pigments, knew about human anatomy.
And combining all of those skills together , the art and the science, the thinking and the doing, was what resulted in the exceptional result. When companies get bigger they try to replicate their success. But they assume their magic came from process. Actually, making an insanely great product has a lot to do with the process of making the product, how you learn things and adopt new ideas and throw out old ideas.
People get stuck as they get older. Our minds are sort of electrochemical computers. Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them. You always have to keep pushing to innovate.
He had to move on, and when he did, by going electric in , he alienated a lot of people. His Europe tour was his greatest. The Beatles were the same way. They kept evolving, moving, refining their art. Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. The people who go to see our movies are trusting us with something very important — their time and their imagination.
So in order to respect that trust, we have to keep changing; we have to challenge ourselves and try to surprise our audiences with something new every time. My philosophy is that everything starts with a great product. So you have to listen very carefully. But then you have to go and sort of stow away — you have to go hide away with people that really understand the technology, but also really care about the customers, and dream up this next breakthrough.
Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations. Apple is built on refugees from other companies. These are the extremely bright individual contributors who were troublemakers at other companies. The people who made Mac are sort of on the edge. All the people that I worked with were clearly in that category too. I think the artistry is in having an insight into what one sees around them. I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking. Albert Einstein.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform or pause and reflect.