How does one man impact the entire world? To even fathom the idea hurts the head to some degree. I mean where do you begin, with a business plan? How about a marketing plan?
Somehow I doubt it.
I do believe though, that you start with a passion. Something you absolutely believe in, right down into the essence of your soul. Something that gets you up before the alarm clock, makes you forget how tired you are at what should be the end of a long day. Sick, tired, repetitive failures, rejections, personal attacks and insecurities, are all formidable enemies, but no match for such a deep passion.
I believe this is the start, but many of us have this passion, especially if you’re following your passion as an entrepreneur or future entrepreneur laying your plans. So it leads me again – back to the question – what elevates a single person’s accomplishments to world recognition or frankly even successfully accomplishing their goals?
For Steve Jobs, I believe the answer lies in his book Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson.
Steve Jobs Biography by Walter Isaacson
If you haven’t read the book (Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson), even if you’re not an Apple fan, I highly recommend it. It’s a great rags to riches story about a man who was extremely driven and definitely achieved greatness on many levels.
If you have read it, you’ll notice there is something consistent throughout the book which at first glance may very well be taken too lightly. The consistency I’m speaking about is Steve’s repetitive desire to walk. I’m not talking about just a little bit, a leisurely stroll, or for that matter, a workout regimen. I’m talking about an obsession with walking for all reasons. Whether it was to get some fresh air after a heated meeting, to literally holding meetings on the pavement at high-speed, or simply to reorganize his thoughts and direction, the man walked non stop.
My Wakeup Call to the Secret
So you might think I’m crazy, and frankly after reading the book, I really didn’t take too much heed to the walking myself. But then about two months ago I had a mild surgery (gall bladder removal and small hernia repair) and was ordered by my Doctor to not workout for a minimum of 30 days. Literally nothing more than 10 lbs of weight being lifted at anytime. Now for me, this was a big deal. At the point of the surgery I was lifting weights 3 to 4 times a week, and running 6-7 mile 3 times a week. I felt great and was slightly horrified about the idea of doing no real physical activity.
After expressing my concern with my doctor, he gave me one option and one option only – I could walk! It was a slow and frankly slightly uncomfortable process to start. In fact I would call it more of a slow, rather visually horrifying shuffle of a sight. But if it was all I could do, I was determined to do it. Now the reality as I was told, is that walking is apparently very good for you after this type of procedure, and helps you recover faster. Knowing this, I had a double motivator to get my feet a moving.
After about a week, my slow embarrassing shuffle had actually transformed into a mild, but slow walk. By this point my family had somewhat let me out on parole – prior to this, nobody would leave my side in case I fell, but my frequency of walking was getting a little tough for anyone to take the time to keep up with me. So there I was, all by myself with no one to entertain me, but me. With nothing else to do for amusement while walking, I went into my own thoughts and that’s the beginning of when it started to hit me.
At first it was slow, but over the weeks that followed, my walking began to contribute to amazing ideas. Everything from efficiency improvements, to new marketing ideas, to how I was going to approach my day to be most effective. The ideas were coming at such a rapid fire rate, that my walking became a three to four times a day event just so I could ponder my day at different stages. Evaluating every step of the way and changing course as my head felt the need to guide me to do so. Every chance I could get, I walked. September ended up being one of my most productive months both personally and professionally that I can recall in a long time, despite being on my back for about a week – and in total, recording a total of over 41 hours of walking.
Could the Creative Secret Really Work
This is when my thoughts came back to the realization that Steve Jobs in fact had a little secret, a creative secret that I believe worked magic for him. That secret was to everyday walk, ponder, think, conduct important conversations and meetings, all while benefiting from the power of walking. But to test this theory out further, and really determine if it made a difference I set out in October to step up my game even further. Here were my results…
As you can see from the tracking in the above images, October resulted in over 62 hours of recorded walking, with an accumulated distance of over 227 miles. Yes that’s not a misprint… 227 miles! And the results… well I could tell you things like my inbox was empty on a daily basis (never happened before), I spent hours every day in what I call my creative mode, focussing on new products, marketing, and personal development. I was lucky to spend an hour per week prior to this test. My task list in our project management system was no longer overwhelmed with screaming red behind tasks, but rather I was crushing my daily routine tasks in a maximum of the first 2 hours of my day.
On a personal note, I implemented date night each week with my wife, which sometimes turned into 2 or 3 nights of the week, but more importantly I was participating 100% in the date. Simply meaning I was 100% present. I didn’t have work on the brain or things that I was behind on while I was out on these adventures. The list of benefits goes on and on.
I do understand of course that most of these results I noticed were from a personal evaluation and not an ROI financial or results comparison. But I can tell you this, the creative benefits of walking are blowing my mind, and I have no intention of stopping. Steve Jobs had a creative secret, and I’m glad I caught on. This is literally just the beginning.
How about you?
Do you walk to improve your business, you personal life, your health. Leave me a comment below, I’d love hear your take.
If you haven’t read the Steve Jobs Biography, you can get it here on Amazon. I highly recommend it.