As a young boy, his teachers said he was too stupid to learn anything. As an employee, he was fired from his first two jobs on the basis of being “unproductive”. As an inventor, he made one thousand unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When asked by a reporter how it felt to fail a thousand times he replied, “I did not fail a thousand times. The light bulb was an invention with a thousand steps.” His name is Thomas Edison. Just like Thomas Edison, there are many other remarkable men in history who faced challenges and setbacks, these include Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein, amongst others.
Abraham Lincoln was a young man who joined the army and went to war as a captain, but came back as a private. After turning to politics, he tried unsuccessfully at various elections before he finally became the president of the United States of America. Albert Einstein had his own share of challenges right from a young age. With the inability to speak until he was 4 years old, nobody thought that Albert Einstein would be known as a genius someday. No doubt, these three people mentioned above had friends, colleagues and family members whom had advised them to quit.
Imagine what the world would have been like if the likes of Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein had given up on their aspirations when people said they should do so.
“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And more important have the courage to follow your heart and intuition” – Steve Jobs. I love this quote because it addresses the problems faced by almost every individual.
Looking at the first part of this quote- “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinion drown out your own inner voice.” Often times we engage in discussions within ourselves, this is sometimes tagged as ‘thinking’. The result of this thinking (made by men who decided to bring it to actualization) is what we see today in technology, business and the environment. People like Alexander Graham Bell engaged in thinking and brought out the telephone. The discussion which is taking place within our minds is carried out by the inner voice. The products of the inner voice are usually great; hence, it is very important that we do not let the noise of others’ opinions drown out our inner voice. Don’t allow the failure of others be the reason for your inability to try. It is important you know that not everybody will support you. There will always be someone who says, “it did not work out before, so it is of no use trying”. This is the noise of others’ opinions. These opinions should not be allowed to make an impact on your mind, as it can lead to defeat before engaging in the battle.
Focusing on the second part of the quote- “And more important have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge about something without conscious reasoning. Intuition is the ability to listen to your inner voice and put it to work. One’s ability to follow his or her intuition can help in achieving one’s goal in life. Whatever your mind tells you to do, you should try as much as possible to do it, because the adage which states, “The person who wears the shoe knows where it pinches” can be used to describe the role which intuition plays in the life of an individual. The individual knows himself better than every other person around him. As such, he is expected to follow the directive of what his mind tells him to do.
Following your heart means that you are solely responsible for every action you take. It is important to note that following your intuition does not mean that you should not listen to counsel. Listening to counsel from people will definitely help to polish one’s intuition. Intuition can also be referred to as a hunch. Most people in life lack the courage to follow their heart and intuition for certain reasons. Some of which are – environmental factors, peer group, previous experiences and lack of internal force. The ability of an individual to weigh these factors critically can even help to polish one’s intuition. However, this has not been the case with most people in real life situations. Rather, they are overweighed by these factors, which inevitably kill the ability to use intuition in taking decisions.
We need to have the courage to follow our heart and stand for what is right. It is not about pleasing everyone around you. It is about setting principles and standing by them.
Following our heart and intuition is something almost everybody struggles to do as it is indeed difficult. Albert Einstein said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift”. We should have the courage to follow our heart and intuition as it is a potent weapon in actualizing our visions and aspirations.