Fail. Up to this point, one of the best commencement speeches I’ve heard is from Steve Jobs (SJ). Recently, I came across a commencement speech (PDF link) by Paul Tudor Jones (PTJ) addressing a bunch of 9th graders. I thought the same thing, what could PTJ possibly tell a room full of 9th graders, apparently enough to get even my attention. Some background on PTJ, he runs a USD 17 billion hedge fund called Tudor Investment Corp.
Most of his speech centers around what he terms “the dirtiest word that any of you 9th graders know…and every adult in this room has had to deal with this in its many forms and manifestations. It’s the other F word – Failure.”
We all have our ups and downs and many times the downs seem unbearable but you have to persevere and get through it. What makes PTJ’s speech memorable are the real world experiences and realizing many of us have been there…I know I have. I’m sure many of those 9th graders have no clue how enlightening his words are or will be in the future. Since mistakes and failures are too painful to think about we end up revising our personal history. But, hopefully in the future you will be able to “connect the dots” and realize all those past stumbles have led you to where you are today. It’s very easy to preach the previous statement but very difficult to navigate when you are going though one of those down phases.
When one door closes, another will open, but standing in that hallway can be hell. You just have to persevere.
As they say, it’s the journey not the destination. And in India that journey tends to be VERY bumpy.