Why not listen to more commencement speeches?

After all, it is a speech made for the people going through 4 years (or more) of torture.

I just graduated from UCSD this year, class of 2020.

A pretty wild ride I must say.

But we are not talking about the wild stuff today, we will save that for next time.

Today we are focusing on what happened towards the end of my undergrad years, more specifically the commencement during the Covid Pandemic.

The last quarter turns to full virtual, online classes and all. So did the commencement.

In my opinion, the biggest takeaways from commencements are from the speeches. The walk, the music, the confetti, etc.… etc. are just bells and whistles, they matter too but on a lesser scale.

Now that the commencement speech I am supposed to be listening to in-person turned into a pre-recorded message. I figured it makes no difference for me to watch another one online, say one from USC class of 2016.

And that’s what I did.

Larry Ellison was the speaker, co-founder, and CTO of Oracle Corporation, a Silicon Valley startup that made their way into the Fortune 500.

He was once a 20 some year old too, but he embarked on what I call the “Search”.

He dropped out of Pre-med in Chicago, drove to California, and searched for 3 things – A righteous cause, a job that he loves, and himself.

The pattern of “Search” reoccurs in other successful entrepreneurs as well. Phil Knight, co-founder and ex-CEO of Nike, Inc., went on his own version of “Search”.

Traveling the world after getting his MBA from Stanford. Here’s an excerpt from his Memoir Shoe Dog:

How can I leave my mark on the world, I thought, unless I get out there first and see it? Before running a big race, you always want to walk the track. A backpacking trip around the globe might be just the thing, I reasoned……. Before I died, became too old or consume with everyday minutiae, I wanted to visit the planet’s most beautiful and wondrous places.

And its most sacred. Of course I wanted to taste other foods, hear other language, dive into other cultures… I wanted to experience what the Chinese call Tao, the Greeks call Logos, the Hindus call Jñāna, the Buddhists call Dharma. What the Christians call Spirit. Before setting out on my own personal life voyage, I thought, let me first understand the greater voyage of humankind.”

Anyways, in my opinion, the reasoning behind the “Search” essentially boils down to what Larry Ellison believes in, that deep down, every human being wants to achieve something important and significant. Being a friend and neighbor with Steve Jobs for nearly 30 years, they come to the conclusion that, “after a certain point, it can’t be about the money.”

In Larry’s speech, quoting Freud, “there’s only two things important in life, Love and Work.”

By loving the Sierra Mountains, Larry Ellison finds his righteous cause. Having a job that he loves, he creates it, and with all the discipline and hard work he put into what he loves, he finds himself.

It is the journey that matters and not the destination (yeah it matters but on a lesser scale), and life is all about the adventure.

“Each of you have a chance to discover who you are, rather than who you should be.”

Larry Ellison

What is your “Search”? Leave them down at the comments below!

P.S. Congrats to the class of 2020!

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1 year ago

Heyyy Keep it up with ur good work!