Steven Job and Zen - Japanese culture

How did Japanese culture influence Steve Jobs?

Steve Jobs was a big fan of Japan. He not only visited the Sony factories in the 1980s and adopted many of their methods when he founded Apple, but he was also captivated by the simplicity and quality of Japanese porcelain in Kyoto. Jobs was fascinated and inspired by the country's artisans, engineers (especially those at Sony), philosophy (especially Zen), and cuisine (especially sushi).

Japanese zen house

What do Japanese artisans, engineers, Zen philosophy, and cuisine have in common?

It is their focus on simplicity and attention to detail. This simplicity is not merely laziness, but rather a sophisticated approach that seeks out new frontiers while always taking the object, body and mind, or cuisine to the next level, in line with one's Ikigai. The Japanese excel at bringing nature and technology together, creating a union between the two rather than opposition.

The main religions in Japan - Shintoism and Buddhism - prioritize rituals over absolute rules. When conducting business in Japan, the process, manners, and how you work on something are more important than the final results. Whether this is good or bad is beyond the scope of this answer. However, it is indisputable that finding flow in a "ritualistic workplace" is easier than in one where we are continually stressed out trying to achieve unclear goals set by our bosses.

Rituals provide us with clear rules and objectives, which help us enter a state of flow. When we have only one large goal, we may feel lost or overwhelmed by it. Rituals help us by breaking down the path to achieving a goal into manageable subsets. Focus on enjoying your daily rituals and use them as tools to enter a state of flow. Don’t worry about the outcome; it will come naturally.

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