Somebody once said: “When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.” We can say that of Steve Jobs who passed away after years battling a rare pancreatic cancer.
In his speech before Stanford’s Batch 2005, Jobs admitted that he was a drop-out from college; thus, his banter: “This is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation.”
He also admitted that right before he was born, he was an unwanted, unwelcome baby because his mother was a young, unwed college student. The biological parents gave him away for adoption to Paul and Clara Jobs.
Worth emulating was Jobs’ persevering struggle against poverty. One reason why he dropped out of Reed College was because he couldn’t bear his hard-up parents spend their hard-earned money for his schooling. However, he returned to the college afterwards choosing only the subjects he wanted to sit in. He admitted it wasn’t that easy and “romantic” because “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 it…”
Then in early 1976, when Steve Jobs and high school classmate Wozniak started Apple company, their initial investment was a measly $1,300 and their office was the Jobs family garage in Los Altos. From humble beginnings, their company skyrocketed in digital products and multi-billion-dollar sales, becoming a rags-to-riches phenomenon. Before he died, Jobs had a net worth estimated at $8.3 billion.
Poverty is not an obstacle to achieving one’s ambition. This is a timely, poignant message to those who weren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouths.
It was not a smooth road all the way at Apple. Jobs reminisced: “We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I got fired.” How did it happen? As Apple grew, someone was hired to run the company with him. However, after a while, he and the new chief executive could not work together having divergent ideas. They had a falling out. The Board of Directors sided with the new guy, and Steve found himself out of the company he started!!!
He didn’t regret his failure because after a 12-year separation from the company, he returned to oversee the creation of one innovative digital device after another — the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Looking back, he said, “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. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did.”
We should never lose faith. Failure should not be a stumbling block but rather a stepping stone to pursue our goal.