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The Businessman and the Fisherman

One of my favorite stories of all time….

The Businessman and the Fisherman

An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders. Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked and inside the boat were several large Yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican of the quality of his fish.

“How long it took you to catch them?” The American asked.

“Only a little while.” The Mexican replied.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The American then asked.

“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs and give a few to my friends,.” The Mexican said.

“But,” The American then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”

“Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own can factory. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senor?”

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO (Initial Public Offering) and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions, senor? Then what?”

The American said slowly, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”

The Story of The Businessman and the Fisherman


IF~

If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

If you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise. … If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?

If you want to succeed sooner, double your failure rate.

If you can dish it, make sure you can take it.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it ’til it is.

If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.

If in doubt, throw it out (my nutritionist’s rule for food).

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you fall seven times, get up eight.

If anything can go wrong, it probably will (Murphy’s Law), have a backup plan ready.

If they can do it, so can you! The only difference is your desire and drive to do so.

If a picture paints a thousand words, then why can’t I paint you….?

If you don’t know – ASK. Now you know.

If you can’t beat ’em, don’t stop trying ’til you do.

If it rains, it pours, but don’t forget about the rainbow soon after.

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito.

If something’s beyond your control, why worry about it?

If you want to look young and thin, hang around old fat people.

If someone else messed up, pretend you didn’t notice.

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

If you wish to make a man your enemy, tell him simply, “You are wrong.” This method works every time.

If you can do something today, do it today!

If you fear dying, then you’re already dead.

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” – Winnie the Pooh Bear

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Cocky Sonofa…

Overconfidence?

Is there such a thing? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds”
– Albert Einstein.

This quote has played a very big role in my own self esteem and can really be very positive, while being very egotistical and counter-productive at the same time.

I often reflect back to Bill Gates when he decided to drop out of Harvard in order to pursue his dreams. Imagine what his guidance councilor’s reaction to this was? I have so many different scenarios playing in my head, most of which involves the councilor calling Bill F-ing crazy, insane and absolutely idiotic, not necessarily in that order. Bill Gates, and anyone who walks the halls of Harvard, is pretty much guaranteed a six figure income right off the bat. Yet, Bill decided to take the chance, follow his own heart and do his own thing. Today, he is the most financially secure person in the world, to say the least.

But of course, we have to be realistic. We always hear about the amazing success stories but there are probably 10 (or more) failures for every victory. So how can one balance out between having our heads in the clouds but our feet on the ground?

Personally, I’ve always leaned toward taking the chance. Every mistake you make is one that you will learn from. Every mistake you make is one less mistake you will repeat.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one”
–Elbert Hubbard.

Yes this may sound too aggressive and outlandish, and yes it is so much easier said than done, especially when you consider having to invest your life savings into your new widget. But I’m not talking about gambling when the odds are stacked in the favor of the casino, no, not gambling, but taking calculated risks in life. There are ways to plan things out, to stack the odds in your favor.

The best way to point yourself in the right direction is to do EVERYTHING you can to ensure success. There are so many other factors that are out of your hands, and those are meant to be left alone. However, aspects that you can control should be researched, planned, understood, structured, studied, debated, marinated, contemplated, practiced, innovated, re-contemplated and any other buzzword you could think of! Oh, and do come up with a plans A, B, C and D.

So far, you need to have confidence and believe in yourself then do everything you can to head towards the right direction. What’s next? *Now what?* (*refer back to previous blog post.)

“Now”, you have to listen.

Listening is a virtue. It’s so easily said, so frequently misused and too often forgotten.

Overconfidence only happens, when one forgets to listen. When one tunes out everyone else and only hears what you want to hear. You don’t have to agree or disagree with anyone, but you have to listen.

How do you listen? Well you need to be patient with the people who give you advice, but be careful whose advice you take.

There’s one more really, really important thing I need to tell you, which would pretty much make everything I said make so much more sense… it is the key to balancing your confidence….. it is something that one of my greatest mentors had taught me…. Umm it goes something like….. ummmm….. I can’t really remember it….. ahhhhh I wasn’t really listening….

How Not to DIE

Here’s some very important tips on how to avoid dying.

How not to die:

1. Don’t jump off planes, bridges, cliffs or any high places

2. Don’t talk to strangers

3. Don’t try unfamiliar things

4. Don’t forget to brush your teeth

5. Don’t question the way things are

6. Never break the rules

7. Never take risks

8. Do as you’re told

9. Conform

10. If in doubt, don’t do it

How to LIVE:

1. Ignore all of the above

“There was a very cautious man, who never laughed or cried
He never risked, he never lost, he never won nor tried.
And when he one day passed away, his insurance was denied,
For since he never really lived, they claimed he never died”

“The Power of One” Quotes

“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do.” -Helen Keller

“I choose to rise up out of that storm and see that in moments of desperation, fear, and helplessness, each of us can be a rainbow of hope, doing what we can to extend ourselves in kindness and grace to one another. And I know for sure that there is no them – there’s only us.” -Oprah Winfrey

“Giving connects two people, the giver and the receiver, and this connection gives birth to a new sense of belonging.” -Deepak Chopra

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” -Mother Teresa

“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.” -Albert Schweitzer

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” -Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.” -Buddhist saying

“It is difficult to give away kindness. It keeps coming back to you.” -Cort Flint

“True beauty emanates from a selfless heart.” -Cristina Munoz

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” -The Dalai Lama

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” -The Dalai Lama

“The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.” -Hadia Bejar

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.” -Helen Keller

“Goodness is the only investment which never fails.” -Henry David Thoreau

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

“A person’s true wealth is the good he or she does in the world.” -Mohammed

“There is hunger for ordinary bread, and there is hunger for love, for kindness, for thoughtfulness, and this is the great poverty that makes people suffer so much.” -Mother Teresa

“We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.” -Whoopi Goldberg

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” -Winston Churchill

“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” -Mohandas Gandhi

“Don’t just think, do.” -Horace

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” -Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax

“For it is in giving that we receive.” -St. Francis of Assisi

“Deeds of giving are the very foundations of the world.” -The Torah

Power-of-One-quotes-quote-sayings

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

work-lke-you-don't-need-the-money-love-like-you've-never-been-hurt-dance-like-nobody's-watching-sing-like-nobody's-listening-live-like-it's-heaven-on-earth

Image from http://inspirationsbybrandipark.blogspot.com/

Work like you don’t need the money.
Love like you’ve never been hurt.
Dance like nobody’s watching.
Sing like nobody’s listening.
Live like it’s Heaven on Earth.


Pass this on, and brighten someone’s day

Connect the Dots Backwards: Steve Jobs Best Speech at Stanford

This is one of the MOST INSPIRING speeches I’ve ever heard! I always think back to this speech whenever I’m in doubt. Steve Jobs gave this commencement speech at Stanford in 2005.

My favorite part of Steve’s keynote address is when he says “You can never connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”

Let me explain…

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When Apple wasn’t doing too well, the board kinda fired Steve Jobs. If you don’t know, Steve was sorta the guy who founded Apple, so getting fried from your own company that you started doesn’t always give you the best feeling in your tummy. So naturally Steve was totally disheartened and devastated because of this.  But instead of sulking, being depressed and throwing the rest of his life away, Steve thrived.

Using the situation and channeling his energy into something positive, Steve ended up founding two more companies. One of which is the animations studio Pixar. While the other company, called NeXT, was eventually bought out by Apple. So with this remarkable turn of events, Steve started working for Apple again…. and the rest…. as they say… is iPod History!

Without knowing it, getting fired from Apple was actually one of the best things that happened to Mr. Jobs. So again, “You can never connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” You just gotta have faith and determination in what you’re doing and it will all somehow connect in the end.

So do check out the full video!

Oh and one more thing I love is how Steve Jobs signs off by saying: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”


 

Full text of Steve Job’s commencement speech / Keynote Address at 2005 Stanford Graduation Ceremony

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 returned 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.


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Connect the Dots Backwards: Steve Jobs Best Speech at Stanford


To all of you who feel like giving up – Nick Vujacic

Nick Vujacic puts a smile on my face and tears in my eyes! He is such an inspiration to me!

The way speaks and relates to his audiance is amazing and his teachings are from the heart and that is important! He is real and there is no body that can deny that! So to Nick, I just wanna say that you have inspired me and that fire inside of you is seen and from you I have learned that anything is possible, and you can’t lose faith in yourself. Thank you!! Your story really speaks to me!!

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