Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Steve Jobs Commencement Address at Stanford (A Must Read)

With appreciation to the folks at “The View From Outside My Tiny Window” blog, who brought this item to the attention of their readers, I am also recommending this address. Not only is it an insightful look into the life of Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Corporation, but it is also a compelling story marking a path for success in business and in life. If you are a graduate or know one, I urge the reading of this address. Click the URL below or cut and paste it into the address line of your browser.

1 comment:

Lloyd said...

Steve Jobs commencement address is an excellent testimony on a person finding his or her true self. If I were as smart as Steve Jobs, I might have discovered the importance of finding and following the true self when I was 20, but it took me until the age of 50 to discover it. Actually, I did make a significant discovery/decision on following the true self when I was 21, but that's another blog

And even then I did not "discover" it, but was led to it via an audiotape of "Bradshaw on The Family." In short, family, religion, government, school, and a host of other entities, all have a vested interest our adhering to their set of values, of submitting to their authority. If we do submit to their authority and take on the their values, we are in danger of losing our true self and adopting a false self. Alienation sets in when we believe that the beliefs of another are really our own beliefs. A false self is often adopted by a co-dependent to be able to survive in a family where one or more members has an addictive personality.

As a college educator, for years I often told my freshman students that they should choose the career path that brought them self-satisfaction, not the hot employment trend of the moment or the holy grail of the almighty dollar. And here is the logic I used. You may choose to major in computer programming, engineering, business or some other high-paying job, and you will make a lot of money. But you might hate your job. Now if that sector of the economy weakens and you get laid off or demoted, you will be miserable with both the job and the minimal amount of money. But if you major in something you like, you will be employed at an average or poor wage but you will be happy that you are doing what you like, and who knows, maybe that field you chose will become a hot one and you will be rewarded economically as well. Later, AB (after Bradshaw), I started integrating this search for true self into my freshman writing program-but that's another blog.

Steve Jobs followed his sense of true self, especially after he was canned from Apple and had to pick himself up after a first-class rejection. He writes:
“I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize 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."

There it is, "I still loved what I did." He never fully internalized the definition of self ("failure") that had been bestowed on him and thus was able to reclaim his true self. As a Macintosh fan, I am selfishly grateful.