Congratulations, graduates! I’m going to borrow from the commencement address given by Steve Jobs at Stanford University on June 12, 2005.
“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.
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 was a 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. 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.’ 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. 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.”
If I may make an application here, I don’t believe there’s a human on this planet who doesn’t want to know what the future holds for them. Unfortunately, that’s impossible. We have to live life as it comes. And sometimes, it comes with earth-shaking intensity.
But I want to remind you that God has your back. Psalm 37:5 says this: Depend on the LORD; trust him, and he will take care of you.
When you get fired or some other tragedy occurs, and in your life, there will probably be at least one, if not more, go back to this verse. Depend on God and trust Him. He’s not going to let you down. What might look ugly to you may simply be His way of moving your life in a new direction that will be better than you could ever imagine. Remember, He will take care of you.