Inspirational Steve Job’s Commencement Speech 2005

I heard it then a few years back, and I came across this video again. In a strange way, it seemed to be God’s way of reaching out to me, after I cried for him to save me from the depths of despair. It is like how he wanted me to listen to this again and pick myself up from where I was.

It made me realize and remember that I was a failure once before. Maybe to many people I wasn’t. I went to a decent secondary school, and I had a PSLE score of 247. Just 3 points short to making into a SAP school. Many people would have wished they had my score, but to me that was one of my down moments of my life. And I climbed up. I made it into NJC, I made it into NUS. For someone that is not classified as the top 10% of my cohort, I eventually climbed up to get Dean’s List twice. That’s top 5% of the cohort in two semesters. I climbed all the way through my own effort.

And so this time I would meet with another failure. I might lose my first class honours. I might do so badly for my FYP that I wouldn’t have a high CAP, but still a decent classification of honours. I might be a failure in some of high society’s eyes, someone who fell from grace from a first class cap to a 2nd upper class honours. It is not as if I have never fallen before, and it is not as if I won’t pick myself up again. It is not as if it is the end of my life.

I might fall now. But the fundamental character that has been built in me will rise again. That mental tenacity that says never to resign to fate, that brain where all dreams are stored and visualized, that raging part of me that wants to start a side business. These are the qualities that won’t die with this small failure. Guards taught me that a skinny and small sized guy like me can become an elite infantry soldier. Guards showed that although I failed to make it into Officer Cadet School, I ended up becoming a PS, controlling just 1 less person than a regular PC, which is me.

I might not get what what I have always wished for in my life, but hey, I always have a plan B to make things work out. And no matter how many times I fall, I will climb again. This setback of not achieving the highest class of honours will not destroy me. People like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates never graduated from college; yet they have achieved success beyond the reach of most graduates, not to mention that my eventual class of honours would still be considered decent.

At least I know where my dreams lie. At least I know where I want to go. One day, I would be there in the parade square standing proudly, telling the whole world, hey, I still made it to become an officer after all. And eventually I will achieve success beyond my wildest dreams. A 2nd upper isn’t going to cripple me. In fact, it is as Steve Job’s said, it would be liberating. Free from the stress of academic success. And I will go on to conquer new heights.

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