Lead to learn: My thoughts on the speeches of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Will Ferrell


Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Will Ferrell are three men who have come a long way in their careers. I know that it would be a cliche to say that they are inspiring and successful- but it’s true. To make this blog entry more interesting, I will be enumerating my favorite quotes from their speeches and at the same time, share my thoughts.

Steve Jobs

  1. “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 interesting.”
    • This actually reminds me of my journey back in college. I started as a tourism student in UP Diliman. Same thoughts with Steve, it was something I wasn’t passionate about. When I started to take general subjects, I took a course in speech called Communication 3. I enjoyed that subject because I liked writing and performing. I decided later that year to shift to Speech Communication. I ended up graduating Cum Laude. It was something that I didn’t expect. I guess what I learned is that when you are passionate about something, it would not seem like a chore. You will be more motivated to do more and excel in that given field.
  2. “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. None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 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.” 
    • I learned that there are things that may make no sense in the beginning of our lives. In my life this would be the many theater classes that I took and the many auditions that I went to. At one point in my life I wanted to become Miss Saigon. YES. I wanted to be Lea Salonga. However, I didn’t pursue theater that time because I wanted to go to college and play football. So what happened to all the classes that I took? I became a trainer in corporate. I was in charge of onboarding employees and teaching short courses. I was able to apply the skills that I learned by making my classes lively, interactive, and fun. I treat each class as a performance.
  3. “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.”
    • I learned that rejection and failure is a good thing. Without this, we won’t be resilient or we won’t be able to get back up when life knocks us down. In Steve’s speech, he eventually created Pixar which is known for movies such as Finding Nemo, Monster’s Inc. and the like. He had to start again and this part of his life humbled him. In my case, I have been rejected in countless of theater auditions- this made me realize that maybe theater was not for me. I decided to apply for a corporate job and since then, I have been training people. I find fulfillment in that.


Bill Gates

  1. “But humanity’s greatest advances are not in its discoveries – but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity. Whether through democracy, strong public education, quality health care, or broad economic opportunity – reducing inequity is the highest human achievement.” 
    • I learned that everything that we do needs to have a purpose. It’s useless to create something that does not help humanity. Microsoft was invented to make people’s lives easier. From typewriters to laptops to software that help us with our lives- it does have a deeper purpose. Without it, people won’t be able to communicate to others or to the world their opinions and the like.
  2. “The defining and ongoing innovations of this age – biotechnology, the computer, the Internet – give us a chance we’ve never had before to end extreme poverty and end death from preventable disease.” 
    • If you look at the world now, most people use the internet as their bread in butter. If you go to a website like youtube, you will come across a lot of people who started out posting reviews, vlogs, and the like. Through this, they are able to get a following. Brands and companies hire these people to become ambassadors. Youtube is a way to make money and it helps the underprivileged. I created a website called startupspotlight.net to give back to the universe. The purpose of the website is to feature small businesses and entrepreneurs. Through the internet, my articles reach a lot of people and these businesses become more known. It attracts more clients for them. This is an example of trying to address the poverty issue.
  3. My mother who was filled with pride the day I was admitted here, never stopped pressing me to do more for others…. My mother was very ill with cancer at the time but she saw one more opportunity to deliver her message and at the close of the letter she said, “From those to whom much is given, much is expected.”. 
    • Some people are really given more or in other words are blessed. As mentioned by Bill’s mom, it’s important to share to do something that would pay it forward. I learned that the purpose of our innovations should also have a CSR aspect. Which is why most companies create foundations to help the underprivileged. As for my part, my way of giving back is to write about the businesses without really charging them for the content I make.

Will Ferrell

  1. “But my fear of failure never approached in magnitude my fear of what if. What if I never tried at all?”
    • What I learned throughout my life is that you’ll never know unless you try. When I started to write for the Manila Times, I had no background in journalism. Yes, I wrote speeches in college and I was part of the communications team in my company however, it’s still different from writing for a newspaper. I still took the opportunity even if it was so scary. I remember submitting my first article to our editor and I told him, “this was my first time to write for a publication. I really want to learn so please guide me.” He told me, ” It’s fine. Practice makes perfect.” Obviously, the first article I submitted had many corrections. I was shy at first because it seemed like I was such an amateur at it. But one thing that it taught me is humility. You can’t please everyone. You will fall a lot of times. But the beauty of falling/failing is getting back up and learning from it. Cliche but the pain and difficulties we experience bring us to the happiest moment in our lives. I wrote for MT for two years and after that, it opened so many opportunities. I was able to create my own website and build relationships. What if I didn’t try and take that opportunity? If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have made startupspotlight.net. TRY. It might be scary but you’ll never know what’s out there if you don’t try.

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