Posted on Monday, December 21, 2009 11:39:42 AM
and it has been read 901 times since then.
A Real Life Story About Success
I am very proud of being here with all of you in such a great graduation ceremony of one of the best universities in the world. I have never graduated from a university. If I have to say the truth that the closest moment I have ever been in graduation is that the moment I am having now with all of you here. I would like to tell three stories to all of you today. My all speaking is going to consist of only three stories which are from my own life. Just 3 stories... I am not going to be telling much more anything else other than these 3 stories...
My first story is about combining points:
I dropped out University of Reed after I studied six months in there. Actually, I had continued to go to that university for 18 months before I officially left. The question is that why I quitted from the university ? In fact everything started before I was born. My biological mother, frankly the woman who bring me to the world was an unmarried and a beautiful student in a doctorate class. She had no choice other than giving me away as an adopted child to someone else that is because I was unwanted at that time. Despite all these, she had a stipulation about me. Whoever wants to take me as an adopted child, those people must have been graduated from a university.
She had found a family who meets with the conditions before I was born. She made an agreement with a couple that they would have taken me as an adopted child right after I was born. My mother did not consider on thing that they were wanting to have a baby girl instead of a boy. After I was born, a person from hospital telephoned to my family who was on waiting list and asked them if they wanted to take a baby boy. They answered yes but not completely what they expected to say for me.
After my biological mother had learned that the woman who will be my mother has never graduated from any university and the man who will be my father has never graduated from a high school, she refused to sign the last paper about giving me as an adopted child. After they promise to her about sending me to a university, she barely consent to sign the paper.
After 17 years later from that day, I started to go to a university. The University was Stanford and it was expensive one. My father and mother were labor and they were spending all of their money for me. After six months, I started to think deeply about these whole situation that I was going thorough. I said myself, "I can not continue this way" I had to do something but I did not know what to do. Where would I go from here and how the university could help me in this path was not known for me at that time. I did not have any clue at all. I was spending the money my parents was giving me and that is the money that they have been saving for a long time. I thought that I did not have any right to spend this money.
Under these circumstances , I decided to drop out. I tried to make myself believe about success in life without studying in a university and I did. I made myself belive to this idea. At that time, this idea was very scary but now I can say that it was one of the best decisions I have taken in my life.
After leaving university, I was just taking the classes which were interested me and I did not have to take the other classes which were not interested me at all. This was the good aspect of my decision but there were also some aspects of my decisions that I was not pleased with. I had lost the easy life in the dormitory. There was no private room of mine any more. I was sleeping on the floor in my friend's rooms. I was collecting bottles and making money when I give them back to the store. I was managing my food in that way.
On Sunday, in Hare Krishna temple, there was always free food. It was free and very good. In order to eat a nice meal once a week, I was walking to the temple which was 12 km. far away from where I was living and I was walking back after eating. I was not very happy with this way of living but I was thinking about my future. I was always thinking and trying to learn something useful. I actually saw later that how helpful these were for my later life.
I want to give you an example about this: At those years, the University of Reed, might be the best school among others about giving the best education which was about calligraphy. All over the campus was decorated with numerous nice writings with different fonts in various size and shape. Nicely created well handwritten announcements were on all the walls in the campus.
When I left my normal education and did not have to take my obligatory lessons, I started to take calligraphy classes. I learned about "Serif" and "Sans Serif" fonts, spaces between letters which is different in each font family, and how to make nice word order for getting nice writing. I learned all these in that classes. I did not believe any of this learning will help me in any way in my future life at all. At least I was thinking that way in those years but when I first time sketched out the first Macintosh computer, I tried to use the knowledge that I learned in those lessons 10 years ago. I made a successful job and I constituted the first computer which was able to form a nice shape of writing.
If I had not taken these classes in the university, there would not have been any artistic style font in Macintosh computers. There would not have been any special character with special spaces between letters in a computer. I say computer that is because Windows copied Machintosh so that there would not have been any special and different font in today's computers.
On behalf of the users, who use and get benefit from these properties in a computer, I can easily say that fortunately I gave up from the classes of which I was not interested in and took the classes of which I was interested in.
While I was a university student, it was impossible to join or combine these points but now, 10 years later, I can see very clearly and I can easily join all those points together. You can not predict or join together all your steps to only look in your future but you can when you look at back. For this reason, you should believe that all those points, steps will join one way or another. You should believe this in advance. You have to believe and trust that those will happen. You should definetely believe in something that this would be either destiny or life or something else. It doesn't matter what you believe in but the important thing is that you should belive in something. This approach of mine, has never disappointed me. All differences in my life came true because of this.
My second story will be about losing and loving:
I was lucky because I realized what I wanted to do in my life in my early ages. Woz and I were 20 years old when Apple was founded in our garage by only two of us. We worked really hard and you all can see where we have led apple within this 10 years. Apple is turned from these two people who were in that garage to a big company of which has over 4000 workers with 2 billion profit a year.
I was fired one year after we put the Macintosh on the market which was the best conception of Apple. I was 30 years old.
Now, please ask me that how you could fired from a job which was established by yourself. The answer of this question lies in the fact that Apple has grown really much. As it grown, we hired a person whom we believe very talented to manage our company together. In the first one or two years we got along with him very nicely. After that, decisions we made started to distinguished about future between him and me. Finally, we had an big argument. We carried this disagreement to our board of directors. The council support his decision and I was fired from my own company.
I was 30 years old and I was taken away from my job which was comprising the center of my life. It was a terrible sensation. I could not decide what to do for couple of months. I felt like that I was a bad example for the previous generation's entrepreneur, disappointed them. I was thinking that I dropped my stick which is for managing an orchestra.
I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce. I tried to apologize to them for all problem that I caused. I was a perfect example of failure. I even thought to move another place.
But I started to realize something. Even though I was thrown out, I was loving my job. It did not cause any lack of interest about my job being kicked out from Apple. It was not the job itself kicked me out. People who manage the company refused me to do my job. My passion on my job was still alive. When I faced with this fact, I decided to start over.
At those days, I did not realize really much about consequences of this event but now I can see clearer than ever. In fact, being fired from Apple was the best thing that I could get in my life. I refreshed and felt weightless of new starting and started like a new apprentice, not an already successful one. This feeling gave me the opportunity to enter my new creative period of time.
Let me continue what I had done after this new era.
In the following 5 years, I found two new company called Next and Pixar respectively. After that, I felt in love with a wonderful woman who became my wife later. Pixar created the first computer animation movie in the world. Pixar is the owner of the most successful animation studio in the world now. Things have developed and Apple bought Next which was founded by me and as a result I got back my first company Apple. The technology which was developed by me in Next is the backbone of changing in Apple now. Because of this power, Apple is still standing very precipitously today.
I am thinking that If I had not been fired from Apple, it would not have happened any of this development today. It is a medicine which tastes bitter but in my opinion patients had to take these medicines.
Sometimes, life offer us all of its difficulties. At this very exact time the only thing we have to do is that we should never lose our faith. The carrier in my life which transported me further was love. The love against the work that I was doing at that time. I have never doubted about it. Be careful about what you love and who you love in your life. Because axis of your life will be the work you do and the person you love.
Your job will take your great deal of time in life. For this reason, if you want to enjoy your life, you should love what you do as a job. To be able to love your job, you should believe in that this job is nice and useful for you. The more you work on your job thinking it is useful for you, the more you love it.
If you haven't found any job like this, do not give up. Keep continue for searching. When you say this is the love that I have been waiting for all my life for your life partner, no matter how old you are at that time, it is certain that you will find your dream job someday like you found your beloved. Only thing is that just do not give up to search for it.
The last story will be about death:
I do not know who told this saying but I have never forgotten this that I read when I was 17 years old. "If you live each day like it is your last day, you wil definetely do the right thing in someday." I have been affected from this very much. I have been looking myself in mirror every morning since the day I read it and asking myself, "If this day was the last day that I am having on this earth, would I really want to do those things that I would probably do during this day?" If "No" is increasing as an answer for this question, than I understand something goes wrong and I should definetely check my doings.
The most effective reason for me to make big decision in life is that thinking I will die at the end. Because everything becomes meaningless even the ones which seem the most important issues in life. Every expectation, pride, success, failure, worry becomes nothing. To know that we will die sooner or later, to get rid of thinking that there are something we could lose... These are the most realistic method. There is no reason in life not to obey the dictates of your heart. For this reason, do not fear listening to your heart...
Approximately one year ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. I had gone to hospital at half-past seven in the morning. They found a tumour in my pancreas. I did not even know what pancreas was. Doctors told me that this was an incurable one and I would only live for the next six months. It was not nice but they had to tell me the truth. I had to prepared myself in advance for the death before I passed away. I had to put in order everything. Think about it, you had to tell your children, whatever you would tell them in ten years, just in couple of months.
You had to leave things to your family orderly before you passed away in order to make their life less difficult. The length of my life-span's means was, I had to do all my responsibility in this such a short period of time.
I had lived with that reality until that evening. In that evening I had given biopsy. They put endoscope into my stomach and intestine and took sample from the tumor. They made me sleep and I was not aware of anything. My wife gave me the news when I woke up which she could have possibly given the best in that kind of situation. The doctors realized after they had examined my sample that my illness was the rare one which has remedy among the similar type of pancreas cancer. They told me later that I should have seen them how they were happy when they heard the news from the doctors. I had surgery the next day. Now, look at me. Look, I am very good and healthy. I feel on top of the world.
I had faced death the first time in my life when my doctor told me about my illness. I hope I will not live the same moment in the next 20-30 years but I can tell you this as a person who faced with the moment that you learn you will die, no one absolutely want to die. Even though a person who knows that he will go to heaven but death is our common point. No one has ever escaped from death. Besides, people must die. Death is the best invention of live. It is the only changing mechanism of live. To be able to give space to new, old must be removed. Now, you are the new but in the future which is not very far you will be the old and you will be removed from the scene of live. I am sorry that I talked about such an upsetting and frightening subject but all of these are real.
Your time is limited. Do not spend your limited time with living someone else's life. Living a kind of life which is result of someone else's thoughts is falling into the trap of dogmas. The noise of someone else's thoughts, should not be pressed your own sound. The most importantly, you should have the courage which will lead you to follow your intuitions. Because these are the best who know about you. Your heart and your intuitions. Believe in them and trust them.
There used to be a magazine called "World Catalogue" which was widely used by my generations for consultation. It was nice one. A man named Stewart Brand was publishing this magazine. It was late 1960's, and before computer era and desktop publishing. It was an idealist publication and consisted of nice information and concepts. Stewart and his friends could only publish this magazine for a couple of months. It was middle of 1970 and I was your age. Before the magazine closed, there was a photograph on the backside of the last magazine. The picture was showing a long road which was photographed in the early morning and below the photograph there was a writing and it was saying;
"If staying hungry does not bother you, remain stupid will not bother you as well."
This was their farewell message.
I told this remark myself many times. Now, I am telling you this for yourselves who is about to graduate from here and take the first step into real life.
"If you staying hungry does not bother you, remain stupid will not bother you at all."
Thank you very much to all of you.
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