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This is one of the best articles I have ever read on net… too good

http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505

You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says

This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.

I am honored 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 after the first 6 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.

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.

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 7 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 san 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 ten 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, its 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 ten years later.

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 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 $2 billion company with over 4000 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.

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 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.

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 worlds 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 retuned 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.

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, 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.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor 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 tumor. 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 its 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 someday 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.

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.

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 1960’s, 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.

These are some facts about Pink Floyd. It appeared recently in Times online.
Just copied from that site

FLOYD IN NUMBERS

£60 million: ticket gross for 1994 last US tour

35 million: global sales for 1973 opus Dark Side of the Moon

17 million: The Wall (1979) total world sales

10 million: Wish You Were Here (1975) world sales 6 million: Animals (1977)/A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) world sales

591 consecutive weeks in the US chart for Dark Side of the Moon from 1973 to 1988

15 consecutive weeks at US albums No 1 for The Wall

10 number of years Waters says it takes Gilmour to write one song

David Gilmour about the reunion: “Any squabbles Roger and the band have had in the past are so petty in this context, and if reforming for this concert will help focus attention, then it’s got to be worthwhile.”

These are taken from http://www.pink-floyd.org

Ten things you may not know about “The Wall”

  1. The three best songs, “Young Lust”, “Run Like Hell” and “Comfortably Numb”, were co-written by Waters and Gilmour. The latter two songs had their roots in the sessions for Gilmour’s eponymous debut solo album, recorded in France in January 1978, but subsequently omitted from that album.
  2. According to CBS logs, the recording of “The Wall” took the Floyd 1,279 hours (or more than 53 days) at Producer’s Workshop alone!
  3. “The Wall” sound system – a 109dB, 150kW quad affair – was the most advanced of its time, while the on-stage wall edifice itself was 160 feet wide, 35 feet high, and comprised 340 bricks “laid” by roadies and concealed hydraulics. The 45 tons of stage equipment included a crashing plane, and giant puppets and inflatable, with the pig hauled out every night just before “Run Like Hell”.
  4. “In The Flesh”, which introduced each show, was played not by Pink Floyd but a “surrogate band” wearing masks, with Waters singing. The band consisted of ex-Status Quo’s Andy Bown (bass), Willie Wilson (drums), Peter Wood (keyboards) and Snowy White (guitar; later Andy Roberts). Backing singers were John Joyce, Joe Chemay, Jim Haas and Jim Farber. Apparently, Wilson was taken ill just on the first night of the Earls Court run and had to be replaced by a roadie named Clive.
  5. Each show was ‘compered’ by a MC. In L.A., it was Cynthia Fox and Jim Ladd; Dortmund, Wili Tomsik; London and New York, Gary Yudman.
  6. Within a year, “The Wall” sold over two million LP’s and tapes in the UK. Worldwide sales are now in excess of 22 million, and “The Wall” is the biggest-selling double LP ever.
  7. The single from The Wall film, “When The Tigers Broke Free” (originally titled “Overture”) was released at the time in a triple-gatefold sleeve, and remains unreleased on commercial CD. It was backed with a re-recording of “Bring The Boys Back Home”.
  8. The Floyd rehearsed their shows at Paramount Studios in L.A. 90 minutes’ worth of these rehearsals (from 1st February 1980, taking in “The Thin Ice” through to “The Show Must Go On”) have appeared on bootleg CDs. These recordings offer a fascinating insight into the complexity of the staging, while Waters remains remarkably calm throughout.
  9. There are several collectable “Wall”-related publications, including concert programmes from 1980/81; a programme for the Berlin show; and a book of photos from the film.
  10. The Wall movie has been transferred to DVD and, reportedly, Roger Waters worked with James Guthrie on the sound mixing.

This is something that no one could believe first. One of the most successful bands in the history of music is getting united again. Yes, Waters is back to the Floyd line up. Waters and the present leader of the band, David Gilmour, have officially confirmed the reunion for a live8 concert in July.

About Pink Floyd first, the band was formed with Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Syd Barret and Rick Wright. The leader of the band was none other than the genius Syd Barret in the beginning. Hence began the long and successful journey of the Sultans of Progressive Rock, “Pink Floyd”. They started of with some really psychedelic singles like Arnold Layne, which is their debut single, which was perfectly written and sung by Barret himself. After this their first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was released with Barret on lead and vocals, Waters as Bassist, Mason on drums and Wright on Keyboards. This album is one of the greatest psychedelic albums in the British history. Later in 1967, a fifth member, David Gilmour, a school friend of Waters, was inducted to the band, for lead guitar, so that Barret could concentrate more on music.

In 1968, the first major reshuffle happened to the band. Barret, one of the all time best songwriters, was forced to leave the band following a mental breakdown from which he has not recovered till date. This was a big blow to the band as their future was under the shadow of huge uncertainty. It was at this time Waters showed his caliber and guts to come up to the front and take leadership of the band. Thus resumed the voyage of a new Pink Floyd band with Waters as the scriptwriter

In 1973, the album The Dark Side of the Moon was released. This is the best Floyd album released, staying in the US top charts for a record 15 years!!! After this came a plethora of bands trying to work out the success formulae of Floyd. By the time “The Wall” was released in 1979, Floyd had become one of the best progressive bands in the history of Rock.

Speaking about “The Wall”. It’s truly an amazing piece taken out from the hearts of the band, especially Waters. This album shows the brilliance and creativity of Waters, he conceived almost the whole idea behind The Wall. All thought Floyd is peaking new heights. Well… actually no. Though The Wall concept is Roger’s brainchild, it had significant contributions from other members as well. But he failed to appreciate that, especially the role of Gilmour. This eventually resulted in the split of one of most imaginative bands in the rock history. While performing “The Wall” concert, nobody knew that Waters is not the part of the band anymore. Finally Waters left the band officially sometime in mid 80s.

After that it was a period of struggle for Floyd as well as Waters, with Waters coming out with radiant concepts, but failing to get the music correct. Moreover there was no one who could sing those songs better than Gilmour. Meanwhile Floyd got dried up of creativity and good lyrics, though they had the music with them. Still they continued because of the success they had with the albums of Pink Floyd.

Speaking of bands, almost all great bands in the western music history had this kind of break ups when they were at their peak. I was just wondering whether this has got anything to do with sound propagation, like the condensations and rarefactions. Bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits and recently Spice Girls, Boy zone, Backstreet Boys, all these bands broke up when they were at the top of the chart, after which they tried with their singles, but never succeeded.

It looks like the new millennium is the time for reunion. Black Sabbath was in the news recently as ozzy was back in their line up. When it looked like Floyd is fading away, they are back with the full strength team barring Syd. This is such great news for all Floyd fans that reflects in the number of applicants for the tickets of the show. Though I was not born when they were really cherishing the golden moments of the band, I can see that in my dreams. Hope this reunion is not just for this stage show alone… Hope they stay for another decade… Kudos to the band, Kudos to Waters. Jai Floyd.

Before I end, I would like to add the lyrics of my favourite Floyd song, Shine on you crazy Diamond. It says about the days before they announced their reunion.

Remember when you were young
You shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there’s a look in your eyes
Like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire
Of childhood and stardom
Blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter
Come on you stranger you legend you martyr and shine!

You reached for the secret too soon,
You cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night,
And exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome
With random percision,
Rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

Jamaican Asafa Powell has clocked a new world record timing of 9.77 seconds for 100 meters record on 14/06/05. He broke the three-year-old record of Tim Montgomerie (9.78 seconds). It’s really amazing to know the speed of these people for 100 meters. The average speed of Powell is calculated to be 36.84 kmph!

Yesterday I was jogging as usual on the treadmill. I am not claiming that I am a great sprinter; in fact I know I am pathetic when it comes to sprinting. I found it so difficult to clock even 18 kmph, i.e. half of the speed at which Powell ran. The guy is only 22 and he is at the top of the world! Hope he will be able to better his own record.

Speaking of world records, I was wondering about the maximum speed at which a human can run! In 1996, when Donovan Bailley of Canada clocked 9.84 seconds (well that’s the first world record feat I remember), I thought no body would be able to break that record. But in 1999, came “the American Express” Maurice Greene. He bettered the record of Bailley by a mammoth (hmmm.. for sprinting this is a huge margin) 0.05 seconds. I thought this would be the limit…

Again the record was shattered. In comes Montgomerie in 2002 with 9.78. He was on his dream run for the whole year, until the allegations of drugs distracted him. Now he runs as though he is in search of his lost soul 😦

I am sure now that Powell has the grit and determination in him to improve his best, hopefully that happens in a couple of years… But the question here is, where is the limit? Is there any limit for the max speed that a man* can achieve. Or will there be some day when he will be running his 100 meters in say 5 seconds? God! I can’t even imagine that situation.

Here what I feel is that, after some years, the time reaches some limit, then we will be forced to go for more accurate measurements. For example, in 2020, the world record for 100 meters can be something like 9.543 seconds, where the previous record might be 9.539 seconds. That’s how I think the records will go. And I strongly believe that these records will be broken as long as there is an event called 100 meters sprint 🙂

So go ahead Powell… U can do it. \O/

*Man: This is because the women’s 100 m record remains unbroken for the past 15 or so years. Florence Griffith Joyner of USA, clocked the record time in 1988, I think. I really feel that there was some error in the measurement , either the clock or they forgot to calculate the wind speed, as the present women sprinters are nowhere close to that record and with the looks of it, this record is likely to remain forever.

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