How Steve Jobs taught me how to hack growth by going to the bathroom


by Elliot Lyons 

We grow in proportion to how much we’re open to growing.

I got this idea from Steve Jobs and the way he saw architecture.

He had this idea of “accidental mingling.” This entailed designing buildings in a way that forced people to interact and communicate.

These random meetings of people would boost creativity; therefore, he advocated for open-floor plans and even having a single bathroom in a building.

That dope design idea just might come on the way to the bathroom, where we run into that person from finance and begin chatting.

One of the ideas behind this is that what we want to find may just come when we’re not looking for it, and we’re busy just getting on with the rest of the stuff we need to do at the office, like going to the bathroom or grabbing lunch in the cafeteria.

Work gets done how we least expect it and when it doesn’t even look like work.

I think Jobs’ approach to designing his workspaces has a lot to say about how we should approach growth in that growth doesn’t always look like growth.

Growth doesn’t always look and feel how we think it will, and doesn’t always come from where, or who, we think it will.

That’s because true growth pushes us in the direction we need to go, not always where we want to be.

It gives us different opportunities, letting us peek into different versions of ourselves. 

It says, “why not?!”and understands openness as the purpose of growing.  

On the other hand, if we see growth as something that can “only happen this way,” we limit the ways in which we can grow.

Which is a shame, because we’ll never reach our potential if we limit ourselves.  


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