Archive for the ‘Itu Andy’ Category

Driving.

Posted: April 11, 2014 in Itu Andy

You were driving to the hospital sebab your parents sakit. You jumpa simpang tiga and you nak kona kiri. In order to keluar, you kena susur.

Bila you keluar susur jalan tu, jalan yang straight tu pulak jam. Panjang. Tapi you mesti kene belok kanan dekat another junction depan you.

Apa you kena buat? Signal, minta laluan and angkat tangan tanda “Sorry, saya minta laluan”.

Tapi, the other drivers yang tengah stuck in the traffic jam tu menyirap, marah-marah you sebab apa yang dieorang nampak adalah satu orang yang senang-senang je nak cuba potong que sedangkan dieorang penat-penat que untuk tunggu turn dieorang and dieorang tak bagi laluan kat you.

You akur, masih bersignal, masih mengangkat tangan and moved ke depan sikit dengan harapan akan dapat laluan dari pemandu yang lain. You berjaya.

You sampai juga di hospital, your parents happy and rasa secure dapat jumpa you.

Sama juga dalam perjalanan hidup. You planned, you laksanakan your plans, you jumpa hurdles, you have to change your strategy.

You tak boleh expect ramai orang akan faham you, apa yang you lalui and kenapa you have to “cut the que” sebab mereka tiada di tempat you.

Even, your parents pon tak tau all the hassle and hurdles dalam perjalanan you. You just keep it to yourself. Dalam kepala otak you, you nak buat parents you happy, sihat and bela mereka.

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I am the Painter.

Posted: April 2, 2014 in Itu Andy

My dad was given a canvas 33 years ago.

He painted it beautifully with love and care.

He also painted a route in the painting.

It was an abstract painting.

The meaning, wasn’t clear at first,

but it lucidly decades after.

I will received mine soon.

I love you dad.

 

Love Dad

Kerna Sayang.

Posted: June 9, 2013 in Itu Andy

Saya jauh dari kampung kerana tuntutan kerja. Kelmarin, saya called ibu saya bertanya khabar and updates. Dia sihat alhamdulillah. Beliau memberitahu bahawa ayah saya sedang sakit buang air besar berdarah. Banyak juga darah yang keluar beritahu beliau. Berderau darah saya dengar.

“Mana abah mak?” I asked.
“Abah tengah kerja. Along cuba telefon abah” she said.

So I called him.

“Assalammualaikum. Abah, abah berak berdarah?? Banyak??” tanya saya tegas.
“Tak adalah. Biasa la tu. Ok, semua ok” kata ayah saya dengan nada perlahan, takut.
“Dah berapa lama abah kena?” tanya saya lagi.
“Taklah abah ok. Nanti dia hilang” jawab ayah saya takut.

Untuk pengetahuan, doktor pernah buat gastroscopy tapi tak ada apa-apa. “Minggu depan Along balik kita pergi check” I told him.

Kedua ibu bapa saya sangat takut untuk memberitahu saya kalau mereka sakit. Amat-amat takut. Mereka amat-amat takut sebab ibu dan bapa saya fikir mereka akan menyusahkan saya. Itulah yang ada dalam kotak fikiran mereka. Mereka tidak mahu menyusahkan saya. Ibu bapa saya fikirkan berapa banyak duit yang saya akan belanjakan jika saya pulang ke kampung semata-mata kerana mereka. Mereka juga fikirkan berapa banyak masa yang terbuang sedangkan saya boleh berjumpa client-client saya dan bekerja instead balik berjumpa mereka.

Itulah ibu bapa saya, tak pernah berhenti walaupun sesaat untuk berkorban demi anak-anak mereka; dari dalam kandungan sehingga saya dah besar panjang. They never stop.

Saya lelaki, kuat, hensem dan macho tetapi saya tak boleh menahan kesedihan dan perasaan sedih saya walaupun ketika saya sedang menaip cerita ini. Saya akan jadi perempuan, lemah, tak cantik dan tak cool jika kedua ibu bapa saya tiada. Itu metafora dan saya belum bersedia untuk itu.

Untuk abah dan mak, abah dan mak tahu betapa sayangnya Along kat mak abah dan berapa berharganya mak dan abah kepada Along. Tak cukup Along nak berterima kasih dengan semua pengorbanan yang telah diberikan, tak cukup. Tapi, Along dah persiapkan sesuatu untuk mak and abah.

Mak and abah tak pandai pakai internet tapi anak mak and abah ni tahu. Mak dan abah bukan cikgu. Anak murid mak and abah tiga orang sahaja; Along, Firdaus and Fiqri. Selain dari amal ibadah dan anak yang soleh, ilmu yang bermanfaat adalah salah satu punca pahala dan kebajikan yang amat mudah diperolehi nak-nak lagi di zaman IT ni. Mungkin mak and abah takkan dapat baca semua yang Along tulis tapi Along perlu kongsikan semua ni sebagai salah satu persiapan untuk mak dan abah diakhirat kelak.

Along kongsikan bukan untuk memalukan sesiapa, bukan kerana riak, berlagak dan sebagainya tetapi kerana Lillahitaala. Penulisan Along akan kekal disini. Segala ilmu yang dapat dicernakan oleh orang-orang yang membaca, melaksanakan malahan berkongsikannya akan turut mendapat ganjaran InsyaAllah. The best part is, ilmu tu diajar oleh mak dan abah dan sekarang anak mak dan abah yang kongsikan kepada seluruh dunia, non stop, infiniti selagi ada internet. Perkara ni juga nanti akan disambung oleh cucu dan cicit mak abah nanti, InsyaAllah.

Dari segi harta, memang Along masih belum mampu. Along belum kaya-raya lagi and along tau bukan harta benda yang mak and abah nak. Tapi, Along harap persiapan perkongsian ilmu ini akan membantu meringankan “beban” yang akan kita tanggung di sana kelak.

Semoga mak dan abah sihat walafiat, dipanjangkan umur, dimurahkan rezeki, dilimpahi rahmat, diampunkan dosa-dosa dan bahagia di dunia dan di akhirat. Amin.

Lupa.

Posted: May 19, 2013 in Itu Andy

Mendekah kealpaan rumpun asalmu,
Menahan runtuh itu yang perlu,
Tetapi sayang bukan bersekutu,
Yang pasti beranjak segala temu.

Adat dipapah bertongkat dagu,
Bukan senang mengumpul jitu,
Dihidang adab pada tetamu,
Jangan dilangkah bertemu siku.

Bermakhdum tumpah lahir darahku,
Masygul berasas diri berliku,
Bukannya mudah menuju ke situ,
Marlapaslah jerih disaksikan ilmu.

by Andy Dhani

Cinta.

Posted: May 19, 2013 in Itu Andy

Keindahan dan kesempurnaan terciptanya cinta,
Terlindung kecacatan dan segala cela,
Sebaliknya berlaku bila hilangnya ia,
Berhimpun menghasil keamanan tiada.

Keamanan dijaga menempelak dosa,
Kerana agama, bangsa dan negara,
Kesucian pahala tiada bandingnya,
Semuanya demi Engkau Yang Esa.

Lillahi Ta’ala

by Andy Dhani

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Aidil Adha 2012.

Posted: October 26, 2012 in Itu Andy

 

Salam.

It’s has been a while since I posted new story and experience to share with you. But today, I would like to share a story that just happened this morning. The story that I prefer to tell in bahasa.

Before saya mulakan, saya ingin mengingatkan kepada anda yang membaca bahawa artikel-artikel yang pernah saya tulis dan yang akan saya tulis ini tidak pernah ada rasa untuk menunjuk-nunjuk, riak dan apa-apa sahaja unsur negatif yang manusia boleh terfikir. Dengan nama Allah, ianya adalah untuk menyedarkan diri saya sendiri, ahli keluarga yang sedia ada, dan paling utama untuk pengajaran dan iktibar kepada anak cucu saya yang akan datang kerana apabila ketiadaan saya satu hari nanti, mereka boleh membaca semua artikel saya dan nilaikan dengan akal yang waras mereka. Mudah-mudahan, artikel-artikel yang saya tulis ini akan menjadi salah satu ilmu yang akan dibawa mereka hingga ke liang lahad Insyallah.

Semalam semasa di rumah, saya sudah menyiapkan baju melayu yang lengkap dan saya gantungkan baju melayu hitam itu di dalam bilik baju yang berdekatan dengan pintu supaya saya tidak akan terlupa untuk membawanya. Tentatif saya pada hari semalam ialah keluar settlekan beberapa kerja, dinner bersama family tunang saya kemudian bermalam di Ampang rumah tunang saya. Planning saya pada Raya Aidil Adha ialah solat hari raya dan kemudian terus menghadiri majlis rasmi di Balai Undang Luak Jelebu dan bermalam di sana. Semua sudah saya persiapkan satu hari sebelum hari raya.

Pagi raya, saya bangun dari tidur and realise yang saya tertinggal semua persalinan baju melayu di rumah. Saya tak bawak satu pon kecuali baju tidur yang saya tak pakai langsung untuk tidur malam tadi sebab dah penat sangat. Untuk pengetahuan anda, alhamdulillah saya dikurniakan dengan daya ingatan yang kuat. Saya jarang lupa tentang sesuatu perkara. Saya mandi dan bersiap untuk ke Masjid Bukit Indah Ampang. Masa saya sedang bersiap saya fikir “Tak apalah, pakai je apa yang ada. Allah bukan menilai seseorang dengan pakaian dan luaran tetapi Dia melihat hati yang bersih dan ikhlas”. Itu fikiran saya.

 

The outfit.

Saya keluar and drive terus ke masjid. Dalam perjalanan, semua orang memakai baju melayu yang cantik-cantik. Ada juga yang tidak memakai baju melayu tetapi mereka memakai baju kemeja dan bersongkok atau berkopiah. Saya park kereta depan 7-Eleven. Sepanjang berjalan kaki ke masjid, saya rasakan amat kerdil sebab saya tidak berpakaian seperti mereka. Tapi saya masih di landasan nawaitu saya, Lillahitaala. Sampai masjid, ruang penuh and tak ada ruang langsung untuk jemaah-jemaah yang datang untuk bersolat. Tanpa ada masalah, kaki saya melorong ke arah satu saf di luar bahagian tangga di perkarangan masjid. Dan alhamdulillah, dengan mudah saya mendapat satu ruang kosong yang tidak ada seorang pon mahu memenuhi ruang tersebut betul-betul di sebelah kaki tangga masjid. Kiri saya tangga dan sebelah kanan saya seorang pakcik india muslim yang amat uzur keadaannya. Saya hulurkan tangan dan memberi salam. Dia seakan terkejut, melihat terus mata saya, senyum, menjawab salam dan mengucapkan Alhamdulillah. Beliau tak lepaskan tangan saya terus tapi beliau menghalakan tangan saya ke bahagian dada beliau dan memeluk tangan saya seketika. Dengan spontan saya memeluk beliau.

This is exactly how he looks.

Ketika itu solat sudah hendak bermula. Pakcik tadi menegur saya dan berkata ” You should take my place. Let me pray at your place. You will be more comfortable here”. Yes, dia speaking English. Saya tak nak tukar tempat sebab tempat saya sekarang sebenarnya susah untuk solat kalau saya nak rukuk sebab belakang saya ada tiang masjid. Untuk rukuk dan sujud, saya perlu beranjak kehadapan supaya saya boleh rukuk dan sujud dengan sempurna. Tapi pakcik tadi berkeras jugak nak tukar tempat dengan saya. Dia tarik-tarik tangan saya sambil berkata “Please, please, take my place. This place suit you well”. Saya tetap enggan kemudian pakcik tu berkata “Please son, take this place. Bismillah, bismillah”. Bila saya dengar “Dengan nama Allah”, saya akur. Kami bertukar tempat.

Solat bermula. Bila takbir habis, kami rukuk, kami sujud. Tapi bila sampai duduk diantara dua sujud, saya terus menangis. Yes, saya nangis. Pakcik tadi sebenarnya tidak boleh duduk diantara dua sujud. Keadaan beliau seperti di bawah ini:

Gambar hiasan.

Selesai solat, saya tidak fokus dengan doa yang dibaca. Tapi saya meneliti keadaan pakcik tadi. Saya baru sedar bahawa beliau mempunyai masalah kesihatan. Beliau bertongkat kerana kaki beliau tidak kuat. Kuku kakinya bersih baru dipotong. Sepanjang doa dibaca, saya menangis. Saya tidak hiraukan saudara bangladesh disebelah kanan saya yang dah notice saya dah kesat air mata banyak kali dari time solat lagi. Pakcik tadi menggerakkan tangan beliau, mengeluarkan RM1 dan menggenggam. Same goes to the bangladeshi sebelah kanan saya. Mereka menderma dalam karung yang dibawa oleh salah seorang nazir masjid.

Selesai doa, semua orang keluar. Saya masih duduk di tempat yang sama betul-betul sebelah pakcik tadi. Saudara Bangladesh sebelah kanan saya bangun dan bersalaman dengan saya dan pakcik tadi. Tapi saya nampak saudara Bangladesh tu berjabat tangan sambil memberikan sedikit wang kepada pakcik itu. Lepas tu diikuti dengan beberapa orang india muslim yang lain dan beberapa orang-orang melayu menghulurkan bantuan kepada pakcik tadi. Saya masih duduk di tempat yang sama, tidak berganjak. Sampai, kebanyakkan orang yang keluar melalui pintu utama masjid melihat saya dengan pandangan yang aneh. Mungkin mereka aneh sebab ada seorang mamat yang muka ala-ala cina duduk sebelah satu orang india tua bertongkat duduk sebelah-menyebelah dekat tepi tangga masjid, tapi, aneh ke? Kemudian barulah saya perasan bahawa pakcik tadi ialah seorang peminta sedekah. No wonderlah mereka-mereka itu memberi pandangan yang aneh. Mana tak, saya seperti bodyguard pakcik tadi rupanya.

Saya toleh ke arah pakcik tadi dan bertanya “Uncle, what is your name?” dia jawab “My name is Hassan Bin Ahmad”. Saya cakap “My father’s name is Hassan” he said “Masyallah, Allahu Akbar”. Saya tanya lagi “Uncle duduk mana?” dia jawab “Saya tinggal di Kosas. Where do you live?” saya jawab “Saya tidur di rumah tunang saya dekat sini je”. Dia bertanya “Kamu kerja apa?” saya jawab “Saya jual saham and insurans”. Dia tanya lagi “Dengan bank? Bank apa?” saya jawab “Yes dengan bank. Public Mutual under Public Bank”. “Berapa adik-beradik?” I said “I am the oldest and I have 2 younger brothers”. “Are they working and in university?” I answered “No uncle. One working with my father age 29 and the youngest is 23 years old and dia special, dia down-syndrome”. Then I showed him Fiqri’s picture. Spontan terpancul “MasyAllah, Allahu Akbar” sambil memegang tangan saya dengan lembut. Saya interview dia lagi “Uncle asal dari mana?” dia jawab “I am from India”. “Uncle lama dah tinggal sini?” dia jawab “Saya datang Malaysia tahun 1983”. I told him “I was 2 years old masa tu. I was born in 1981”. We laughed. Masa ni masjid dah kosong dari jemaah. Saya tanya pakcik tu dah makan ke belum, dia kata pagi-pagi tak makan lagi. Pukul 7:30am dia dah sampai masjid. Dia akan stay masjid sampai solat Jumaat, ambil daging korban dan kemudian dia balik ke rumah. Dia bagitau dia tak boleh berjalan. Kalau dia nak balik, dia akan perlukan bantuan orang sama ada tumpang kereta atau tumpang bonceng motor. Kalau tak ada sesiapa, dia akan naik teksi.

Selepas berbual secara ringkas lagi, saya minta diri untuk pergi. Saya tak boleh duduk lama lagi dengan Pakcik Hassan sebab saya amat sangat sedih melihat keadaan dan nasib beliau. Sebelum beransur, saya hadiahkan kesemua wang yang saya ada didalam wallet saya kepada Pakcik Hassan. Dia sedih dan menitiskan air mata dia sambil berkata “You go son, you go”. Saya pergi kemudian saya toleh ke belakang saya nampak dia sedang berdoa.

Jalan pintu masuk Masjid Bukit Indah. Sebelah kanan yang ada orang duduk di tangga itulah tempat kami solat. Yang berkopiah putih bersandar itulah Pakcik Hassan Bin Ahmad. Gambar ini saya ambil sebelum saya pulang.

Dengan nama Allah tidak sedikit pon terdetik riak, bangga diri ketika saya taip dan kongsikan cerita ini. Demi Allah tidak. Laknat Allah yang amat besar akan menimpa saya jika saya riak ketika berkongsi cerita ini. Niat saya adalah untuk kita sentiasa ingat tentang orang-orang yang tidak bernasib baik seperti kita. Saya teramat bersyukur Allah memberikan saya pengalaman ini mudah-mudahan saya tidak akan lupa diri bila saya jadi seorang billionaire nanti. Saya adalah seorang yang akan berpakaian sempurna dan sesuai ketika menghadiri apa sahaja majlis-majlis yang saya hadiri. Hari ini, pandangan sinis jemaah-jemaah yang pergi solat di masjid terhadap saya yang tidak berpakaian yang indah-indah, cantik dan sempurna ini seolah-olah saya ini jijik dan keji akan saya jadikan pembooster semangat saya untuk menjadi seorang billionaire yang tahu apa BasmallahNya.

Ingatlah pembaca-pembaca sekalian, jangan ukur seseorang dari luaran. Anda tidak berhak menilai individu lain dari segi itu. Allah juga tidak melihat seseorang dari luaran tetapi Allah menilai hati budi & keikhlasan seseorang hambanya tidak kira agama, bangsa dan pangkat kita. Hari ini adalah pengalaman yang teramat berharga pada saya. Hidup saya bermula dengan seorang anak kampung, campur dengan budak-budak bandar, belajar di kawasan terpencil, berubah ke kota besar, bergaul dengan menteri-menteri dalam pemerintahan negara satu ketika dulu dan sekarang bergaul rapat dengan kerabat di Raja. Hari ini mungkin Allah ingin mengingatkan saya supaya sentiasa beringat asal-usul saya, jangan lupa pada insan-insan yang memerlukan dan sentiasa ingat apa BasmallahNya yang saya bawa. Peristiwa ini menjadikan saya lagi kuat untuk mencari kesenangan dunia akhirat supaya saya boleh menjadi transit untuk membantu insan-insan yang memerlukan. Demi Allah, hanya Dia yang tahu keikhlasan saya dunia akhirat.

“Kadang-kadang, insan yang tidak sempurna itulah yang memberi ruang kepada kita supaya hidup dengan sempurna” – Andy Dhani

Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha

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The Speech.

Posted: September 8, 2012 in Itu Andy

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. Truth be told, I never graduated from college and 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 I dropped 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 found out later 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 go to college. This was the start in my life.

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 far more 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, it’s 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. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path and that will make all the difference.

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 and 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, 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 thankfully I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s 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.