Steve Jobs Commencement Speech on Personal Development

My fellow readers, I’m sure a lot of you are college students or graduates. Either way, I think it is safe to assume that we all have gone to friends’ or relatives’ commencement ceremony. I think it is also safe that there is one element of the ceremony, that we are ever so fond of, or perhaps dread it the most.. that’s right, THAT is the commencement speech.

Over the years, I have gone to many ceremonies, and needless to say, some maybe somewhat inspirational, some maybe fill with mundane phrases such as “you will be the pillars of the society tomorrow, etc.” and some are just utterly boring and filled with jibberish.

However, there is one exceptional commencement speech that I would like to share with everyone some interesting highlights from it, by Steven Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005 at Stanford University.

  • I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK.He made a decision, committed to it, and BELIEVED that it will be okay. Sometimes we just do not know where life is leading us, but a decision has to be made. After making the decision, trusting that it will be okay may just the the key that “it will turn out okay”!
  • And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. – We have to learn to trust ourselves and our intuition. There has gotta be something right about doing the things that our gut tells us it feels right. Make sense? We may not have the beautiful typography we see on computer today if Steve Jobs had not done so!
  • The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. – This is a good synonym to keeping an open mind.
  • Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. – Again, trusting, having faith in your decision and yourself is important. Persistence is what takes us to success eventually.
  • You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. – Work and lover together essentially ARE a major part of our lives… how do we love life and live happily if we don’t love them? If you don’t listen to me, listen to Steve Jobs, “Keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
  • Here is the best piece of advice from the speech:

    “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday 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.

    He is right. If I know I’m going to die soon, I don’t have time to NOT do the things I want. If I ask myself the same question he did and I cannot answer with one thing that I would STILL do if I will die tomorrow for too many days, some changes are definitely needed.

  • 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. – Understanding your life is completely your own responsibility. Do not get bogged down or fear others and what they think. Do not live life based on others’ expectation.
  • Steve’s last words, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” Just as the description of my blog suggests, life is a journey, an endless journey. It only stops when we choose to stop. As the earth is ceaselessly spinning, the world is constantly changing, and therefore we will never know everything and are always foolishwe. Knowing that, “staying hungry and staying foolish” becomes the only path.

Click here for the full commencement address.

Let’s all thanks Steve for his words of wisdom.

Originally posted 2007-05-24 01:48:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Boat Analogy in Pursuit of the Essence of Life and Reality

I am not a religious person in the traditional sense, meaning, in the sense that I don’t consider myself from any sect nor do I think one religion is IT.

It is my observation and feeling that the original intention of many religious and even philosophical frameworks — beyond their defined constitution, policy, and dogma — are tools to point us, or vehicles to get us to the essence of life and reality. Set aside what I think as “the essence of life and reality” for another day, let’s consider a boat analogy.

Various kinds of religions are different boats on a river. Let say we begin life on one side, and the other side is the land with the essence of life and reality.

My observation in present time is that…

Some people don’t see or simply ignore the boats.

Some people spend time just looking at the different boats and analyze the boats from the shore.

Some people got put on the boats.

Many people merely follow others onto the boats.

Many people feel the need to belong to a boat.

Majority of people think the boats are IT — the place to be.

Now, when people think their corresponding boat is IT, they just sit on the boat. They spend time remodeling, upgrading, making the boats more attractive for more people to hope on the boat because they believe the boat is the place to be, with well intention, I suppose.

But, there being so many boats (oh, so many ITs) that we are consciously or subconsciously all insecure and so then we get busy trying to convince each other that my boat is better than yours!

In worse case, we take the attitude that if you don’t agree and come on to our boat, we will F-in sink yours!

MEANWHILE, we forget that all boats share the same purpose and are truly useful in that they can carry you across the river… and only if you choose to use the boat for that intended purpose. (While I suppose we may lead an interesting discussion on how well each boat is made and whether they may sink… haha, anyways…)

As such, floating on this boat is never going to get us what we want when what we want is on the other side of the water. So we are eternally lost, forever dissatisfied, always feel like we are struggling and thus a need to fight. Doesn’t that describe how most people act and feel and how things are now?

Incidentally, unbeknownst to most, the meaning of “sin” from its Greek root is “to miss the point,” versus how we use it to mean violating some predefined moral conducts.

We seem to be missing the point of the boats.

Now, a great flaw lies within the boat analogy. The flaw in the analogy is the description of our life as a pursuit. The real pursuit when we finally get to the bottom of it, if one bothers to get to the bottom of it, is the opposite of pursuit.

To pursue is what we are taught and know and always do in life — which is an agenda mentality to move from point A to point B, whatever it takes.

The way I see is — peace, contentment, compassion, courage shall never bear fruits, except in pretense, in such pursuit.

Originally posted 2010-04-26 00:29:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

In praise of idleness

I keep seeing the occasional spike in the article that I had written awhile back – The Art of Doing Nothing so I feel like to add a few thoughts to that.

Productivity seems to have become the end-all-be-all goal in our current time. Driving up productivity is an unquestionable aspect in driving more values in business, at all cost.

The attitude from such execution results in the mentality that we have to be useful, productive ALWAYS into all aspects of our lives. Thus…

To be doing something useful is great!
To be idling is blasphemy!

I know we don’t really say things like that but when anyone says that he had done nothing over the weekend or something, he’s usually met with the reaction “oh… (maybe you should be doing something more useful, or be out doing something exciting).” Well, something along those line. In short, the reaction to an “idling answer” is always kind of awkward.

I find there is a lot be praised to be able to be idle — and that includes our physical and mental capacities. To be honest, we need to be able to be idle. Not always, but I think it’s necessary on intervals.

There is something rejuvenating about it.
A lot of creativity arises from moments of idleness.
Epiphany usually only happen when you can stop to be idle.
If we ignore all the above, we simply need a balance in life.

Idleness is the couter-balance of productivity.

Slightly different version of being idle is to be able to move/act at leisure.

But I think in our pursuit of growth and mostly only economically… sometimes also for fame and power, we give up this important concept. And we almost chastise each other for being anything other than productive.

I read something awhile back that I’ll always remember… You know what kind of people would not be hostile and try to always fight with others? People who can stop to look at and genuinely enjoy a beautiful scenery.

I enjoy being able to be idle and leisurely.

Maybe we need more people like that. Maybe we need to start teaching that.

I feel the reason behind our distaste against idleness has to do with our deep desire to control. We want things to happen our way instead of letting things happen by itself when in things, many things happen outside of our control. Sad to say, that is more healthy to let things take its course. To always control is a very short sighted perception due to insecurity.

It is also a fact that our brain does MUCH more than we are consciously aware of. Thus when we feel sleep/rest is wasteful, that is also completely wrong. Think of it as a digesting process when we let ourselves rest… of all the events that happen during the day, the stress, the hormone, and all the emotional wear and tear that occurred during everyday!

Originally posted 2012-09-26 22:28:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Questions for U.S. President George Bush Junior

I talked about reflecting on yourself to become a better “you” as everyday goes by.

I’m not a very political person, but I wonder if our president does any self-reflection.
I wonder if President George Bush Junior ever think to himself:

I’m already the president of U.S., the most powerful man in U.S. and possibly in the world, do I really need more power?
Maybe I should use my power more appropriately, for better cause, and not abuse the darn thing…

I (and my friends) have a crap load of money already, do I really have to help us obtain more?
Maybe we can use our time, money, and effort to help and advocate medical research or any kind of benefical social efforts.

I’m making more mistakes than I really want to when I speak in public…
Maybe I should work on my vocabulary and practice the presentation…

Had there been “a little” too many lives lost among all the wars I started here and there?
Maybe it’s time to find a way to stop them.

I have always been pushing democracy to the other parts of the world. Why don’t people understand?
Maybe they don’t understand the fundamentals of democracy. Wait, do I know the fundamentals of democracy? Is United States being a good example of democracy under my ruling?

Should I listen more to the opinions of the people I am supposed to be serving?
Maybe it’s time I listen to other perspectives.

Did I really change the government for the better?
Did I really make America a better place?
Have I contributed to the world positively?

And finally…
Am I being a good president? Am I being a good person?

Personally, I’m not sure if he can close his eyes and say with peace in his heart, “Yes”.
But that’s just me.

Do you have questions for our Mr. President?

Originally posted 2007-08-19 13:10:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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