“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”
The above is an excerpt from the commencement speech given by the CEO of Apple Computers, Steve Jobs at Stanford College. Jobs was a great drop-out achiever who figured out life on his own without any high institutional help. Although he had enrolled at Reed College, he dropped out after 6 months because his parents couldn’t afford it.
He spent his time auditing classes at Reed and dropping in on creative and calligraphy courses which he once remarked are the secret to the humongous variety of typefaces on the Mac. So, basically computers would have had such beautiful fonts if Jobs wouldn’t have dropped out of college and dropped in on the calligraphy classes which interested him.
Here’s another excerpt by a vivacious female who never attended college.
“And I – I really, I had no ambition, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I did everything from – I shucked oysters, I was a hostess, I was a bartender, I was a waitress, I painted houses, I sold vacuum cleaners, I had no idea. And I thought I’d just finally settle in some job, and I would make enough money to pay my rent, maybe have basic cable, maybe not, I didn’t really have a plan, my point is that, by the time I was your age, I really thought I knew who I was, but I had no idea.”
Ellen DeGeneres is an American stand-up comedian, television host and actress. Best known for her popular TV series ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ this won numerous Emmy Awards. She also has to her credit a long list of movies and TV shows. Most of all, she is a people’s favourite for her humanitarian causes and honest approach to life. She gave this commencement speech at Tulane University, which could be one of the funniest speeches in history.
“Thank you, President Cowan, Mrs. President Cowen; distinguished guests, undistinguished guests – you know who you are, honored faculty and creepy Spanish teacher. And thank you to all the graduating class of 2009, I realize most of you are hung-over and have splitting headaches and haven’t slept since Fat Tuesday, but you can’t graduate ’til I finish, so listen up.”
The first rule of commencement speeches in colleges says, ‘you got to be a graduate if not anything else.’ These people haven’t followed any codes or rules; they did not run after success. They ran after happiness.
And as the Late Steve Jobs puts it, ‘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.’