I have recently read Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson. It was a really fascinating read, which as well as describing the very complex person he was, also gives you an inspirational and exciting accounting of the history of modern computing which I found really amazing. To read the descriptions of the first computers was genuinely incredible. (Keep reading please, it’s not going to stay geeky and will get onto weight loss…)
There are three lessons that I am taking away from this book that I’d like to share with you.
The importance of hidden details
One was a message that Steve Job’s adoptive father, who was a carpenter and mechanical engineer taught him.
It was important, his father said, to craft the backs of cabinets and fences properly, even though they were hidden. “He loved doing things right. He even cared about the look of the parts you couldn’t see.”
This is very true of all we do in life. Often, the things we are doing appear to be hidden. They don’t seem to be seen by anyone. We don’t think they are important. But they are all seen by the One Above, and also when it comes to our health and weight loss, those “hidden” actions are very visible to everyone around us. This goes for the not so good actions that no-one sees, but certainly sees the extra layer of fat on us.
Conversely, the positive actions we do, the hidden challenges that we succeed in, when we don’t have that nosh, when we hold back from seconds, when we exercise in the privacy of our home, they are the vitally important steps which lead us towards our goal.
Jobs was obsessed with the details of presentation of his products, from the particular stone floor in the Apple Stores to the box when you opened your new device, the design of the chips on the motherboard of the iMac and what colour the machines in his factories were. I don’t think it is perhaps healthy to be so obsessed to this level with aesthetics but there is something to learn from it, again in weight loss. We want to achieve a goal and we want it to be pleasurable getting there. There is a joy in having systems that run smoothly, and that look beautiful. Presenting food attractively greatly improves the experience of the meal. Having attractive, flattering clothes to exercise in makes the experience of exercising more enjoyable. The world is an intrinsically beautiful world, enjoy that beauty while on a journey to healthier living.
Computers have swiftly developed from being so enormous, clunky and not particularly useful to what we have today, and how this was due to a few individuals who had what seemed to be crazy dreams of what could be. Aim high.