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    , , Speech, , Talking, William Faulkner,   


    Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words.

    ―William Faulkner, Mosquitoes



     
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    , , Speech   


    Your day will go the way the corners of your mouth turn.
    -Proverb



     
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    Jorge Luis Borges, , , Speech   


    Dont talk unless you can improve the silence.

    -Jorge Luis Borges



     
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    , , , Jay Lakhani, , Speech,   


    Why so many Gods – Jay Lakhani 

     

    Following is a record of the conversation in Jay Lakhani’s video:

     

    Question :

    In Hinduism, there are many forms of God. So we follow Ram, we follow Sita, we follow Krishna. But is there one particular form of God that we should be praying to – be it Matarani or be it Krishna, or are they all just representatives of one sole God?

     

    Answer :

    OK. This question actually worries or confuses lot of Hindu youngsters. And forgets about the Hindus, it confuses the non-Hindus even more. They think this weird religion has got so many Gods.

    And if I ask all of you, “Look Shiva, this is ultimate, almighty?”
    You say “Yes”.
    “Vishnu?”
    “Yes”
    “Ultimate, almighty?”
    “Yes”
    “Ultimate?”
    “Yes”
    “And Mother Goddess?”
    “Of course, Mother Goddess, how can you forget them? She is ultimate too”

    This is kind of a contradiction. Come on, you cannot have too many “ultimate”s. This is not ultimate enough. So which one is the right one? Can the real God stand up please?  That is what she was asking in a nice way.

    What is the answer? The answer is this. It is very interesting. You see this is important for you to know. It is very good that the question comes from you.

    This religion that appears polytheistic….

    It is called polytheism. Many gods.
    Then you all say yes. Many Gods. Yes. We all go Yeah.

    Actually it is not polytheist. It appears polytheist but is actually pluralist. It says, the same ultimate reality that you are trying to relate to, you can call it by different names and give it different forms. Names and forms can be different, but same reality – ultimate reality.

    So, not many Gods – but many ways to think about God. This is a big difference.

    If you say many Gods, you say naive, not well thought out religion at all. They have not thought it out properly.

    And then, when you say many ways to think about God that is grand, that is majestic. It allows different individuals to relate to the idea of spirituality in his own individual mode.

    So different groups will say “We love Krishna.”
    “OK, sing his glory.”
    “Oh! We like Shiva.”
    “Go for it my friends.”
    The way you are relating to the ultimate is through the name and form of Shiva. Go for it.

    This is the answer.

    The name the Hindus give to the comprehensive idea of God is, you’d be surprised, is Brahman. The word Brahman there is no person like Brahma is different person, not Brahma. Brahman-Brahma.

    The world Brahman means spirit, not as a person at all but as a principle that underpins reality. They said the whole of this creation is nothing but an expression of this principle. Look, not a person – a principle that becomes visible, manifested as the world we see in front of us. And the same principle, Brahman, becomes more visible, (because) clearer as living things and the most clearest vision of Brahman, this principle, is humanity – men and women.

    That is why I said you are the clearest manifestation of God on earth. Where else will you find your God? He is lighting you up. Not you, everybody.

    So this is a principle oriented religion but then it allows a personalized approach. Because, in that case why shouldn’t we just go Brahman and why should we bother with Ram and Krishna and Shiva and Mother? The reason we have to bother is because we are human – and we got human failings, if you like, human limitations.

    If we are human, the only way we can build a relationship with this principle called Brahman, is to think of this principle as a personality.

    Suppose I say “Build relation with Brahman”.
    You say “What do I do now?”
    I say “No, No, No, think of mother Goddess, sweet with flowing hair” and you want to say “Mommy”.
    It is easy to build relationship.

    With Brahman how do you build a relationship? It is a principle, it is abstract. When you turn the principle into a personality, then you can build friendship, relationship, like a mother figure, father figure, friend.

    See the Hindu religion is the only one that allows you to think of God in a variety of different ways. Not just father in heaven, like Christianity. Mommy in heaven. Why not mommy? Mommies are sweeter, kinder, cuddlier, less hairy than daddies. Why can’t you go like “Mommy”? Why daddy all the time? Why fixation? In fact the Gayatri (Mantra) that you just recited, gives you the clue of the Hindu tradition. This is what it translates as. Let us meditate on the glorious effulgence of that supreme being that created the universe. May she enlighten our hearts and direct our destination.  She. Addressing God as She. The central part of Hindus think God is a woman.

    See? Because we are human, we like to relate to this principle in a human manner, that is why we create all this imagery. Lets go for it. The same one becomes all this.
    People say, how do you reconcile principle and personality?

    This is how they reconcile. It is like ice and water. Water is fuzzy, like no shape nothing, just fuzzy. When you freeze it, it can take on different forms. It is the love of the devotee that freezes this principle called Brahman into the various forms that he likes. Suppose I like to think of God as Shiva, this principle reduces itself and becomes Shiva and comes in front of me and interacts with me. This is Hinduism.

    The love of the devotee freezes his principle into the personality of his choice. See the power of religion. Real democracy. Spiritual democracy.



     
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    , , , , , Speech   


    One ought every day at least to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.

    –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



     
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    , , Gay Hendricks, , Kate Ludeman, , Speech   


    The mastery of integrity comes down to three things: being authentic with yourself, being authentic with others and doing the things you have said you would do.

    -Dr. Gay Hendricks and Dr. Kate Ludeman



     
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    Deeds, , , , , Speech   


    People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

    -Maya Angelou



     
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    , , , Speech,   


    The words you speak become the house you live in.

    -Hafiz



     
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    , , , Speech   


    When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two thirds of the time thinking what they want to hear and one third thinking about what I want to say.

    Abraham Lincoln


     
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    , , , Speech   


    Well done is better than well said.

    Benjamin Franklin


     
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    , Conflict, , , Speech   


    What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson


     
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    Speech,   


    Steve Jobs: How to live before you die 

    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?

    Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.

    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.

    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.
    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.

    Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.
    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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