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Steve Wozniak sends uplifting message to Korean student

Mark Hattersley | March 7, 2013
Apple co-founder writes a long message offering life, personal and business advice to student.

Near the end of high school and early college years I did a lot of internal thinking. This is the age that I hear a lot of students talking about right and wrong and what values are good and exploring religions if they haven't had one pressed upon them by their parents.

First, I came to the conclusion that I would rather be an average person joking all the time than a powerful businessman stressing over work every day. I also decided for myself that I'd want to be 'in the middle' in almost every way. I looked hard and the extreme ends of politics and values and wealth were not desirable and led to corrupt behaviors for many. Early on I decided that I would never want to tell one story in different ways. The truth always comes out one way. I decided that telling 2 versions of the same thing is often hypocritical. The teller doesn't feel that the truth about how they are and how they act is not good, so they hide it with deception and falsehoods. It's like having 2 different personalities in your head and can lead to psychological problems and neurosis. I did not want to be like that.

I also decided that I did not have to convince others of my views for those views to be good. They only needed to be good to me. I didn't have to argue and win points. Arguments rarely have 'winners' anyway. I could tell what I believed (even how to make a computer) and if others didn't agree, they were not bad. They just thought differently. I would have the belief that my thoughts were good and were inside my head and that's all that mattered.

Also, my dad had told me that how far you go in a company usually is determined by how well liked you are. So I'm always very nice to everyone. There's no need to make enemies. You are recognized by your own skills and good work, and you don't have to criticize others for not doing good work. Just worry about your own skills.

One accident that happened to me was that I taught myself, with no books, how to design computers in high school. I loved doing it and designed computers all the time, from descriptions of them in manuals by the companies that made them. I designed the same computers over and over and made a game out of trying to use fewer and fewer parts, coming up with tricks to accomplish my task that could never be in a book. They were 'tricks' in my own head. I felt that some of these tricks would be used by probably no other computer designer in the world. In my game world, on paper, where I could never afford to build my designs, I felt I was one of the best in the world.


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