Steve Jobs attributed his success to intuition — here's how to use yours

The world's greatest leaders have these traits in common
The world's greatest leaders have these traits in common

Apple is well on its way to becoming the world's first trillion-dollar company.

The tech behemoth's continued success serves as a lasting testament to late co-founder Steve Jobs' business savvy and innovation. And like many other visionaries, including Albert Einstein and Amazon's Jeff Bezos, the tech titan attributed this extraordinary success to his intuition.

"Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion," Jobs told writer Walter Isaacson in his self-titled biography. "That's had a big impact on my work."

Intuition is generally referred to as an instinctive gut feeling and intuitiveness is viewed by many as a necessary business trait. However, few people are actually able to harness it, says Sue Hawkes, author of "Chasing Perfection: Minimize Self-Doubt and Maximize Success."

"Intuition gets a bad rap, often dismissed as New Age mumbo jumbo that has no place in our rational world," she writes in her book, adding that logical people have the hardest time listening to their intuitive voices because they feel the need to validate everything.

For those who are not yet in the habit of trusting their gut feeling or are unsure whether they can rely on it, Hawkes says that you can learn to connect to your intuitive abilities by listening to your inner voice. The key to doing so, she says, is to simply create a "quiet space."

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These quiet spaces can run the gamut from a silent retreat, to a meditative yoga class to simply standing in the shower. The main point is that you're isolated and refrain from "being busy," says Hawkes, because busyness blocks you from accessing their intuition.

"When we're doing too much, we lose touch with out internal alignment and what our inner wisdom is trying to tell us," she writes. "Your intuitive voice isn't going to shout to get your attention; it's going to whisper."

Hawkes admits that it can be difficult to find this place of solace because most people are over-scheduled, bogged down by to-do lists and plugged into devices.

But if you take the time to create this quiet space, she says, you're more likely to to unlock your creativity, discover your next business solution, find a sense of clarity and become centered.

"When you're truly aligned—mind, body, spirit, intellect—you're open and receptive to bigger things," writes Hawkes. "That's when you take a risk, take the plunge, dare to do something you'd never thought you would or could."

She adds, "This is when innovation happens."

Apple is proof of this. The tech giant has been one of the world's most innovative companies and in particular its launch of the first iPhone in 2007 stands out. At the time, competing smartphones like Blackberry were using QWERTY keyboards and styluses.

The iPhone's ground-breaking design featuring a multi-touch screen completely revamped the style of smartphones as we know it and propelled Apple as a leader in mobile technology.

Though Jobs was spearheading the multinational organization, he still managed to create his own quiet space by practicing mindful meditation.

"That's when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more," the late CEO is quoted as saying in his biography. "Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before."

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