We are beautiful, smart, funny, kind, unique. And we are worthy of love and affection. We are just enough! AMEN!
As I was having a very emotional moment today. I happened to bother my fairy God Mother, Ate Patmei Ruivivar and was venting out. Then inner peace and at the same time there was the inner “light bulb” moment. I wanted to share to everyone one of the memorable and best advice I have ever encountered in my existence.
“When your soul is crying out. Listen to it. Stop and reflect. Surround yourself with people who love you and give you good energies. There is a time to replenish, recharge, and refresh! You don’t need the money. God will always provide. The important thing is finding your self, your center, the meaning of your life, your bliss. Then all will just fall into place.
It will get better. Just be patient and work on yourself.
Don’t measure your worth or success based on what mainstream society says. It is an illusion that is oftentimes the root of our unhappiness. March to the beat of your own drum.
We have our own unique journey. It is foolish to copy other people’s definitions and plans because you are not like other people. You are YOU! And your most important task in life is to figure out your authentic self and live your best according to what is true to you.”
Trust God. God is performing little miracles everyday.
We are beautiful, smart, funny, kind, unique. And we are worthy of love and affection. We are just enough! AMEN!
For those who have fallen, or have yet to fall.
EFFORT IS ALSO TO BE CELEBRATED, NOT JUST OUTCOME. THIS IS TOO INSPIRING NOT TO SHARE!
“Even the best of us need to be reminded once in a while…”
Many people are afraid of growing old.
I’m afraid of growing old and boring.
Many people are afraid of growing old,alone.
I’m afraid of growing old, insane.
Many people are afraid of losing their looks.
I’m afraid of losing my dreams.
Many people are afraid of losing their youth.
I’m afraid of losing my soul.
When you’re 15, 35 seems ancient.
When you’re 35, 15 seems juvenile.
A turnaround in a split second – two decades
zoom past and before you know it, it’s only a mile to your 70th birthday.
Don’t fear age – it’s a right of personhood.
Don’t fear death – it’s God’s greatest jest.
Don’t grow old – you don’t have to.
Don’t date because you’re desperate.
Don’t marry because you’re miserable.
Don’t have kids because you think your genes are superior.
Don’t separate because you think it’s fashionable.
Don’t drink because you have troubles.
Don’t gamble because you think winning is inevitable.
Don’t philander because you think you’re irresistible. Most likely, you’re not.
Don’t associate with people you can’t trust.
Don’t cheat. Don’t lie. Don’t pretend.
Don’t try to buy your way into the kingdom of God.
Don’t dictate because you’re smarter.
Don’t demand because you’re stronger.
Don’t sleep around because you think you’re old enough and know better.
Don’t hurt your kids because loving them is harder.
Don’t sell your self, your family or your ideals.
Don’t stagnate. Don’t regress. Learn a new skill. Find a new friend. Start a new career.
Don’t live in the past. Time can’t bring anything or anyone back.
Don’t put your life on hold for possibly Mr/Ms Right.
Don’t throw your life away on absolutely Mr/Ms Wrong because your biological clock is ticking and everybody around you is getting into relationships or getting married.
There’s always a mad rush to something, somewhere but
victory does not always belong to those who finish
first. Sometimes, there is no race to be won only a
price to be paid for some of life’s more hasty
decisions. You can’t always go with the throng who
could be wrong. Sometimes, you have to be alone to be
To terminate your loneliness, reach out to the homeless.
To feed your nurturing instincts, care for the needy.
To fulfill your parenting fantasies, get a puppy.
Don’t bring another life into this world for all the wrong reasons.
To keep yourself warm, buy a jacket. In the long-run, it will be less
complicated and less costly.
To make yourself happy, pursue your passions and be the best of what you can
be. Simplify your life. Take away the clutter.
Get rid of destructive elements – abusive friends, nasty habits and dangerous liaisons.
Don’t abandon your responsibilities but don’t overdose on duty.
Don’t live life recklessly without thought and feeling for your family.
Be true to yourself. Don’t commit when you’re not ready.
Don’t keep others waiting needlessly.
Fall in love – it’s the greatest thing on
earth. But take care and remember, after the fall must come the rise.
Go on that trip. Don’t postpone it.
Say those words. Don’t let the moment pass.
Do what you must even at society’s scorn.
Write poetry. Love deeply. Walk barefoot. Hold hands.
Dance with wild abandon. Cry at the movies.
Take care of yourself. Don’t wait for someone to take care of you.
You light up your life. You drive yourself to your destination.
No one completes you – except you.
It is true that life doesn’t get easier with age. It only gets more
challenging. Don’t be afraid. Don’t lose your capacity
to love. Pursue your passions. Live your dreams. Don’t
lose faith in God.
Don’t grow old. Just grow-up…
and as a final “Don’t”:
You don’t have to take every word of this note as an absolute, there are always exceptions to the rule…
Lead your own life, it is yours to live and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise 🙂
Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, they serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are and who you want to become. You never know who these people may be: your neighbor, child, long lost friend, lover, or even complete stranger who, when you lock eyes with them, you know at that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way. And sometimes things happen to you and at the time they seem painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential strength, will power, or heart. Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good or bad luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, whether they be events, illnesses or relationships, life would be like a smoothly paved straight flat road to nowhere, safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless. The people you meet who affect your life and the successes and downfalls you experience create who you are, and even the bad experiences can be learned from, In fact, they are probably the poignant and important ones. If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them, for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to Whom you open your heart… If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because they are teaching you to love and opening your heart and eyes to things you would have never seen or felt without them. Make every day count. Appreciate every moment and take from it everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again… Talk to people you have never talked to before, and actually listen, let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high… Hold your head up because you have every right too. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself… for if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you either. You can make of your life anything you wish. Create your own life and then go out and live in it! “Live Each Day As If It Were Your Last… “Tomorrow is Not Promised.”
If you love someone, ask him for nothing. Don’t hold him from his destiny. Don’t keep him from going off in search of his own answers. Don’t ask him for commitment. You will know commitment is real when it is something given willingly, and not as something obligatory. Don’t ask him for promises. If you are patient, if you have faith, you will know in your heart when the right time for promises has come. And when that time arrives, then you will see that you have both lost nothing by setting each other free, and have instead gained a richer, fuller life, a wealth of experiences, and a stronger certainty of your desires.
But should he not return to you, then life hasn’t cheated you because no promises were broken. Your bitterness will not last long, and you will feel thankful and blessed that at the very least, this beautiful soul has colored your life, that knowing him has already made life infinitely more meaningful. By setting a person a free, you run a risk of him not returning. But always remember that you found him beautiful precisely because he was free. People are like sunlight. You can feel their warmth, and their glow, but you can’t hold them in your hand and keep them with you forever. People choose to stay. But a choice is made more meaningful when it is made despite so many other options.
When you stop chasing the wrong things you give
the right things a chance to catch you.
As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves. Read The Road Less Traveled.
Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else. Read Stumbling on Happiness.
Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be
Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.
Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done. Read Getting Things Done.
Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.
Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.
Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.
This is a prepared text of the commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on 12 June, 2005.
**The commencement address is one of the more venerable – and respectable – traditions of American academia, especially at elite universities such as Stanford and Harvard. Because Steve Jobs died at such a relatively young age (56) this is destined to be regarded as a classic. But it faces stiff competition – as the list maintained by humanity.org testifies. Jobs’s address is up against Barack Obama’s lecture to Wesleyan University in 2008, Elie Wiesel’s talk at DePaul University in 1997, Václav Havel’s lecture on “Civilisation’s Thin Veneer” at Harvard in 1995 and George Marshall’s address to the same university in 1947 – to list just four. But Jobs’s address has an unbearable poignancy just now, especially for those who knew him well. John Gruber, the blogger and technology commentator, saw him fairly recently and observed: “He looked old. Not old in a way that could be measured in years or even decades, but impossibly old. Not tired, but weary; not ill or unwell, but rather, somehow, ancient. But not his eyes. His eyes were young and bright, their weapons-grade intensity intact.” The address also reveals something of Jobs’s humanity, something that tended to get lost in the afterglow of Apple’s astonishing corporate resurgence. **
“I am honoured to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.”
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College [Portland, Oregon] after the first six months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
** This is interesting because for many years Jobs was extremely reluctant to discuss his family background in public. He was asked about it in the famous Playboy interview in 1985, for example, and refused point-blank to go into it.**
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.** One of the most interesting back stories of the moderncomputing and IT industry is how many of its pioneers were college dropouts. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, for example, both left Harvard in mid-term, and one of Gates’s proudest boasts is that he was responsible for persuading Steve Ballmer (now Microsoft’s CEO) to drop out of Stanford. The list continues with Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle and Michael Dell, founder of the computer firm that bears his name. And although Google’s co-founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, did graduate, they both dropped out of their PhD programmes. This rather runs against the conventional narrative – that an expensive college education and a good degree are essential prerequisites for success. ** It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned Coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and sans serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later.
** One of the things that everyone who knew Jobs says is that he was obsessed with “taste”. He was always ranting against Microsoft because they “had no taste” and one of his great early insights was that computers would become consumer products and, as such, would have to be attractively designed and easy to use. **
Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky – I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz [Steve Wozniak] and I started Apple in my parents’ garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2bn company with over 4,000 employees. We had just released our finest creation – the Macintosh – a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling-out. When we did, our board of directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
** Jobs hired John Sculley, who had been CEO of Pepsi, the drinks company, in the mistaken belief that having an experienced chief executive would free him to do what he really loved doing – which was creating great products. His pitch to Sculley to persuade him to leave Pepsi was: “John, do you really want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water?” In the short term, appointing Sculley looked like the defining, catastrophic error of Jobs’s life. But – with the 20/20 vision of hindsight – he came to see it differently. The idea that getting fired might be a good thing is a bracing idea for young graduates, even Stanford ones. **
I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologise for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me – I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over. I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the world’s first computer-animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
** Again, a rare insight into his personal life. In a moving tributehis friend Stephen Wolfram recalls seeing this side of Jobs for the first time. “One time I went to see him in NeXT’s swank new offices in Redwood City,” he recalls. “I particularly wanted to talk to him about Mathematica as a computer language. He always preferred user interfaces to languages, but he was trying to be helpful. The conversation was going on, but he said he couldn’t go to dinner, and actually he was quite distracted, because he was going out on a date that evening – and he hadn’t been on a date for a long time. He explained that he’d just met the woman he was seeing a few days earlier, and was very nervous about his date. The Steve Jobs, so confident as a businessman and technologist, had melted away, and he was asking me – hardly a noted known authority on such things – about his date. As it turned out, the date apparently worked out – and within 18 months the woman he met became his wife, and remained so until the end.” **
I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful-tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, some day you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself:” If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7.30 in the morning and it clearly showed a tumour on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for “prepare to die”. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumour. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.
This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful, but purely intellectual, concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but some day not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
** This breaks the first rule of contemporary American culture – never talk about death. Work out, lose weight, don’t smoke, eat carefully. It’s a wonderful, liberating break from that infantile, stultifying convention. One wonders if it made his audience shift nervously in their seats. **
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
** Jobs never allowed the opinions of others to drown out his own “inner voice”. One of my favourite stories about him is about the moment when the Apple design team presented him with the first version of the iPod. He looked at it for a while, turned it over and over, weighed it in his hand and then said: “It’s too big.” The engineers protested that it was a miracle of state-of-the-art miniaturisation – 1,000 songs packed into that tiny space. Jobs walked over to the fish tank in the corner of his office and dropped the prototype into the water. He then pointed to the bubbles that floated from it to the surface and said: “That means there’s still some space in it. It’s too big.” End of conversation. **
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called the Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors and Polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of the Whole Earth Catalog, and then, when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words “Stay hungry. Stay foolish”. It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay hungry. Stay foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay hungry. Stay foolish.
Thank you all very much.