With this Buddhist monk in tow. Guy sat with me holding my wrists the way Jennie did. Then he looks at Jennie. She says, You see? He is, right? The monk nods. He closes his eyes and thinks for a minute. Then he says to me, You have a very strong gift. Perhaps you feel it. It has served you well. But there is something even greater that may come to you. I’m like, Yeah, you know what, this whole iPhone thing, I know everybody’s psyched about it, but I don’t think we can differentiate enough, and Nokia already has a jump on us, so at best we’re looking at 5% market share and zippo margins, so I don’t know, I’m thinking about just pulling the plug.
He goes, No, not the iPhone. I say, Well I’m not doing a PDA, either. Friggin Newton was a friggin disaster. He goes, I am talking about something beyond this. He sits there, staring at me. Finally he goes, The future is not a single thing. The future is many things. Many possibilities. Do you understand this? I hate when these guys get all friggin cryptic but whatever. I just go, Sure, many futures, okay. He says, There are many paths. One of them, for you, leads to a great achievement, beyond what you can imagine. And I’m thinking, Dude, achievement? Hello! I invented the friggin iPod, have you heard of it? But I don’t say that. I’m just sitting there.
But I guess he can read my mind because he goes, Yes, the iPod is delightful. The Macintosh is a beautiful machine. Nemo is a wonderful creature. With these you have changed the world. But there is something much larger for you if you choose it. Today you walk a difficult line. You live in the world, and yet you try to remain apart from it. This struggle produces for you many possessions but it wastes a great deal of energy. The weight of your possessions keeps you from transcending. Every posession is an item in your rucksack. Your rucksack is very full. Men see this and call this success. But the rucksack is heavy. The burden prevents you from making your journey. The opportunity before you is given to very few. I pray you make a wise choice. Namaste.
He bowed his head, and fell silent.
I said, So you’re telling me I have to give away everything I own? Everything? Quit my job? Become a monk or something?
He goes, I am not saying you have to do anything. I am saying what is possible for you. What you are capable of.
So I go, Well what is it you see? Because I already had the chance to run Microsoft and I turned it down.
He says he can’t tell me. So I’m like, Yeah, you know, I don’t know, I’ll have to kinda think about this or something, I mean it’s a lot to take in.
At the door he stopped and bowed one last time. You know, he said, I really liked that commencement speech you did. Seriously. It was a great speech. I wish you good luck.