50. All you can do is to try your best. Even with those small steps, you're closer to your goal than you were yesterday.
51. A smile is the shortest distance between two people.
52. Do or do not. There is no try.
53. Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow.
54. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.
55. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour.
56. No dream is too big, and no dreamer is too small.
57. It doesn't matter how many times you fail. What matters is how many times you stand up and try again.
58. Silence is the most powerful cry.
59. A little consideration, a little thought for others makes all the difference.
60. Stop waiting for things to happen.Go out and make them happen.
61. Don't look forward to tomorrow, don't miss yesterday, to grasp today.
62. Now we don't call it alive. It's just not to die.
63. You can change your life if you want to. Sometimes you have to be hard on yourself, but you can change it completely.
64. Time will bring a surprise, if you believe.
65. What others think is not important . How you feel about yourself is all that matters.
66. Don't cry because it is over,smile because it happened.
67. Tomorrow is never clear. Our time is here.
68. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
69. Pursue excellence and success will follow.
70. Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world.
71. Every step towards your dream today is a step away from your regret tomorrow.
72. It's never too late to be what you might have been.
73. It's time to start living the life you've imagined.
95. How can men succumb to force?
96. Life is like live TV show. There is no rehearsal.
97. Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.
98. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.
99. There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy.
100. Where the more different you are, the better.
101. I'm only brave when I have to be. Being brave doesn't mean you go looking for trouble.
102. Behind every successful man there's a lot of unsuccessful years.
103. If you want something done, do it yourself.
104. Life is a wonderful journey. Make it your journey and not someone else's.
105. No matter how many mistakes you make or how slowly you progress, you are already ahead of those who never tried.
106. Some things are so important that they force us to overcome our fears.
107. Say to yourself: "No matter how many obstacles I encounter in life, I will do all that I can to complete the whole course."
108. No cross, no crown.
109. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.
110. Remember when life's path is steep to keep your mind even.
111. If you're brave enough to say GOODBYE, life will reward you with a new HELLO.
112. Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.
113. Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.
114. In life it's not where you go. It's who you travel with.
115. Life is like a rainbow. You don't always know what's on the other side, but you know it's there.
116. When the world says,"Give up!"Hope whispers,"Try it one more time."
117. I don't care about other questions and I just try to be myself.
118. Attempt doesn't necessarily bring success, but giving up definitely leads to failure.
119. The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.
120. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
121. Life is a journey, one that is much better traveled with a companion by our side.
122. Sometimes you have to fall before you can fly.
123. If you are able to appreciate beauty in the ordinary, your life will be more vibrant.
124. Be who you are, and never ever apologize for that!
125. Consider the bad times as down payment for the good times. Hang in there.
126. Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger.
127. Everybody can fly without wings when they hold on to their dreams.
128. There is no such thing as a great talent without great will power.
129. You can't change your situation. The only thing that you can change is how you choose to deal with it.
130. Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.
131. Perfection is not just about control.It's also about letting go.
132. Dream is what makes you happy, even when you are just trying.
133. Never frown,because you never know who is falling in love with your smile.
134. It's easy once you know how.
135. In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.
136. I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.
137. Don't hide. Run! You'll make it to tomorrow.
138. Life comes with many challenges.The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.
139. Life doesn't just happen to you; you receive everything in your life based on what you've given.
140.You are more beautiful than you think.
141. Throughout life's complications, you should maintain such a sense of elegance.
142. When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on so long in the first place.
143. Enjoy your youth.You'll never be younger than you are at this very moment.
144. You'd better bring, cause I'll bring every I've got it.
145. Take time to enjoy the simple things in life.
146. As long as you are still alive, you will definitely encounter the good things in life.
147. Hold on, it gets better than you know.
148. If you are fine,the sun will always shine.
149. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
150. Every life deserves our respect.
151. The best feeling in the world is when you know your heart is smiling.
152. Don't ever underestimate the heart of a champion.
153. There is nothing permanent except change.
154. The difference between successful persons and others is that they really act.
155. Don't follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.
156. People pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who cannot afford a warm beverage.
157. No one is born a genius.Just keep on doing what you like and that itself is a talent.
158. The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
159. You can create something more glorious than the championship.
160. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
161. You can always be a worse version of "him", or better version of yourself.
162. Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.
163. Honesty is the best policy.
164. To a crazy ship all winds are contrary.
165. The outer world you see is a reflection of your inner self.
166. Strike while the iron is hot.
167. Knowing what you cannot do is far more important than knowing what you are capable of.
168. People cry, not because they're weak. It's because they've been strong for too long.
169. Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.
170. If you are not brave enough, no one will back you up.
171. If you don't build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs.
172. Beauty is all around, if you just open your heart to see.
173. The difference in winning and losing is most often...not quitting.
174. I am ordinary yet unique.
175. I like people who make me laugh in spite of myself.
176. Image a new story for your life and start living it.
177. I'd rather be a happy fool than a sad sage.
178. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
179. Even if you get no applause, you should accept a curtain call gracefully and appreciate your own efforts.
180. Don't let dream just be your dream.
181. A day without laughter is a day wasted.
182. Travel and see the world; afterwards, you will be able to put your concerns in perspective.
183. The key to acquiring proficiency in any task is repetition.
184. You can be happy no matter what.
185. A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
186. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!
187. Life isn't fair, but no matter your circumstances, you have to give it your all.
188. No matter how hard it is, just keep going because you only fail when you give up.
189. It requires hard work to give off an appearance of effortlessness.
190. Life is like riding a bicycle.To keep your balance,you must keep moving.
191. Be thankful for what you have.You'll end up having more.
192. Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes.
193. Friendship doubles your joys, and divides your sorrows.
194. When you long for something sincerely, the whole world will help you.
When Paul Jobs was mustered out of the Coast Guard after World War II, he made a wager with his crewmates. They had arrived in San Francisco, where their ship was decommissioned, and Paul bet that he would find himself a wife within two weeks. He was a taut, tattooed engine mechanic, six feet tall, with a passing resemblance to James Dean. But it wasn’t his looks that got him a date with Clara Hagopian, a sweet-humored daughter of Armenian immigrants. It was the fact that he and his friends had a car, unlike the group she had originally planned to go out with that evening. Ten days later, in March 1946, Paul got engaged to Clara and won his wager. It would turn out to be a happy marriage, one that lasted until death parted them more than forty years later.
Paul Reinhold Jobs had been raised on a dairy farm in Germantown, Wisconsin. Even though his father was an alcoholic and sometimes abusive, Paul ended up with a gentle and calm disposition under his leathery exterior. After dropping out of high school, he wandered through the Midwest picking up work as a mechanic until, at age nineteen, he joined the Coast Guard, even though he didn’t know how to swim. He was deployed on the USS General M. C. Meigs and spent much of the war ferrying troops to Italy for General Patton. His talent as a machinist and fireman earned him commendations, but he occasionally found himself in minor trouble and never rose above the rank of seaman.
Clara was born in New Jersey, where her parents had landed after fleeing the Turks in Armenia, and they moved to the Mission District of San Francisco when she was a child. She had a secret that she rarely mentioned to anyone: She had been married before, but her husband had been killed in the war. So when she met Paul Jobs on that first date, she was primed to start a new life.
Like many who lived through the war, they had experienced enough excitement that, when it was over, they desired simply to settle down, raise a family, and lead a less eventful life. They had little money, so they moved to Wisconsin and lived with Paul’s parents for a few years, then headed for Indiana, where he got a job as a machinist for International Harvester. His passion was tinkering with old cars, and he made money in his spare time buying, restoring, and selling them. Eventually he quit his day job to become a full-time used car salesman.
Clara, however, loved San Francisco, and in 1952 she convinced her husband to move back there. They got an apartment in the Sunset District facing the Pacific, just south of Golden Gate Park, and he took a job working for a finance company as a “repo man,” picking the locks of cars whose owners hadn’t paid their loans and repossessing them. He also bought, repaired, and sold some of the cars, making a decent enough living in the process.
There was, however, something missing in their lives. They wanted children, but Clara had suffered an ectopic pregnancy, in which the fertilized egg was implanted in a fallopian tube rather than the uterus, and she had been unable to have any. So by 1955, after nine years of marriage, they were looking to adopt a child.
Like Paul Jobs, Joanne Schieble was from a rural Wisconsin family of German heritage. Her father, Arthur Schieble, had immigrated to the outskirts of Green Bay, where he and his wife owned a mink farm and dabbled successfully in various other businesses, including real estate and photoengraving. He was very strict, especially regarding his daughter’s relationships, and he had strongly disapproved of her first love, an artist who was not a Catholic. Thus it was no surprise that he threatened to cut Joanne off completely when, as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, she fell in love with Abdulfattah “John” Jandali, a Muslim teaching assistant from Syria.
Jandali was the youngest of nine children in a prominent Syrian family. His father owned oil refineries and multiple other businesses, with large holdings in Damascus and Homs, and at one point pretty much controlled the price of wheat in the region. His mother, he later said, was a “traditional Muslim woman” who was a “conservative, obedient housewife.” Like the Schieble family, the Jandalis put a premium on education. Abdulfattah was sent to a Jesuit boarding school, even though he was Muslim, and he got an undergraduate degree at the American University in Beirut before entering the University of Wisconsin to pursue a doctoral degree in political science.
In the summer of 1954, Joanne went with Abdulfattah to Syria. They spent two months in Homs, where she learned from his family to cook Syrian dishes. When they returned to Wisconsin she discovered that she was pregnant. They were both twenty-three, but they decided not to get married. Her father was dying at the time, and he had threatened to disown her if she wed Abdulfattah. Nor was abortion an easy option in a small Catholic community. So in early 1955, Joanne traveled to San Francisco, where she was taken into the care of a kindly doctor who sheltered unwed mothers, delivered their babies, and quietly arranged closed adoptions.
Joanne had one requirement: Her child must be adopted by college graduates. So the doctor arranged for the baby to be placed with a lawyer and his wife. But when a boy was born—on February 24, 1955—the designated couple decided that they wanted a girl and backed out. Thus it was that the boy became the son not of a lawyer but of a high school dropout with a passion for mechanics and his salt-of-the-earth wife who was working as a bookkeeper. Paul and Clara named their new baby Steven Paul Jobs.
When Joanne found out that her baby had been placed with a couple who had not even graduated from high school, she refused to sign the adoption papers. The standoff lasted weeks, even after the baby had settled into the Jobs household. Eventually Joanne relented, with the stipulation that the couple promise—indeed sign a pledge—to fund a savings account to pay for the boy’s college education.
There was another reason that Joanne was balky about signing the adoption papers. Her father was about to die, and she planned to marry Jandali soon after. She held out hope, she would later tell family members, sometimes tearing up at the memory, that once they were married, she could get their baby boy back.
Arthur Schieble died in August 1955, after the adoption was finalized. Just after Christmas that year, Joanne and Abdulfattah were married in St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church in Green Bay. He got his PhD in international politics the next year, and then they had another child, a girl named Mona. After she and Jandali divorced in 1962, Joanne embarked on a dreamy and peripatetic life that her daughter, who grew up to become the acclaimed novelist Mona Simpson, would capture in her book Anywhere but Here. Because Steve’s adoption had been closed, it would be twenty years before they would all find each other.
Steve Jobs knew from an early age that he was adopted. “My parents were very open with me about that,” he recalled. He had a vivid memory of sitting on the lawn of his house, when he was six or seven years old, telling the girl who lived across the street. “So does that mean your real parents didn’t want you?” the girl asked. “Lightning bolts went off in my head,” according to Jobs. “I remember running into the house, crying. And my parents said, ‘No, you have to understand.’ They were very serious and looked me straight in the eye. They said, ‘We specifically picked you out.’ Both of my parents said that and repeated it slowly for me. And they put an emphasis on every word in that sentence.”
Abandoned. Chosen. Special. Those concepts became part of who Jobs was and how he regarded himself. His closest friends think that the knowledge that he was given up at birth left some scars. “I think his desire for complete control of whatever he makes derives directly from his personality and the fact that he was abandoned at birth,” said one longtime colleague, Del Yocam. “He wants to control his environment, and he sees the product as an extension of himself.” Greg Calhoun, who became close to Jobs right after college, saw another effect. “Steve talked to me a lot about being abandoned and the pain that caused,” he said. “It made him independent. He followed the beat of a different drummer, and that came from being in a different world than he was born into.”
Later in life, when he was the same age his biological father had been when he abandoned him, Jobs would father and abandon a child of his own. (He eventually took responsibility for her.) Chrisann Brennan, the mother of that child, said that being put up for adoption left Jobs “full of broken glass,” and it helps to explain some of his behavior. “He who is abandoned is an abandoner,” she said. Andy Hertzfeld, who worked with Jobs at Apple in the early 1980s, is among the few who remained close to both Brennan and Jobs. “The key question about Steve is why he can’t control himself at times from being so reflexively cruel and harmful to some people,” he said. “That goes back to being abandoned at birth. The real underlying problem was the theme of abandonment in Steve’s life.”
Jobs dismissed this. “There’s some notion that because I was abandoned, I worked very hard so I could do well and make my parents wish they had me back, or some such nonsense, but that’s ridiculous,” he insisted. “Knowing I was adopted may have made me feel more independent, but I have never felt abandoned. I’ve always felt special. My parents made me feel special.” He would later bristle whenever anyone referred to Paul and Clara Jobs as his “adoptive” parents or implied that they were not his “real” parents. “They were my parents 1,000%,” he said. When speaking about his biological parents, on the other hand, he was curt: “They were my sperm and egg bank. That’s not harsh, it’s just the way it was, a sperm bank thing, nothing more.”
The childhood that Paul and Clara Jobs created for their new son was, in many ways, a stereotype of the late 1950s. When Steve was two they adopted a girl they named Patty, and three years later they moved to a tract house in the suburbs. The finance company where Paul worked as a repo man, CIT, had transferred him down to its Palo Alto office, but he could not afford to live there, so they landed in a subdivision in Mountain View, a less expensive town just to the south.
There Paul tried to pass along his love of mechanics and cars. “Steve, this is your workbench now,” he said as he marked off a section of the table in their garage. Jobs remembered being impressed by his father’s focus on craftsmanship. “I thought my dad’s sense of design was pretty good,” he said, “because he knew how to build anything. If we needed a cabinet, he would build it. When he built our fence, he gave me a hammer so I could work with him.”
Fifty years later the fence still surrounds the back and side yards of the house in Mountain View. As Jobs showed it off to me, he caressed the stockade panels and recalled a lesson that his father implanted deeply in him. It was important, his father said, to craft the backs of cabinets and fences properly, even though they were hidden. “He loved doing things right. He even cared about the look of the parts you couldn’t see.”
His father continued to refurbish and resell used cars, and he festooned the garage with pictures of his favorites. He would point out the detailing of the design to his son: the lines, the vents, the chrome, the trim of the seats. After work each day, he would change into his dungarees and retreat to the garage, often with Steve tagging along. “I figured I could get him nailed down with a little mechanical ability, but he really wasn’t interested in getting his hands dirty,” Paul later recalled. “He never really cared too much about mechanical things.”
“I wasn’t that into fixing cars,” Jobs admitted. “But I was eager to hang out with my dad.” Even as he was growing more aware that he had been adopted, he was becoming more attached to his father. One day when he was about eight, he discovered a photograph of his father from his time in the Coast Guard. “He’s in the engine room, and he’s got his shirt off and looks like James Dean. It was one of those Oh wow moments for a kid. Wow, oooh, my parents were actually once very young and really good-looking.”
Through cars, his father gave Steve his first exposure to electronics. “My dad did not have a deep understanding of electronics, but he’d encountered it a lot in automobiles and other things he would fix. He showed me the rudiments of electronics, and I got very interested in that.” Even more interesting were the trips to scavenge for parts. “Every weekend, there’d be a junkyard trip. We’d be looking for a generator, a carburetor, all sorts of components.” He remembered watching his father negotiate at the counter. “He was a good bargainer, because he knew better than the guys at the counter what the parts should cost.” This helped fulfill the pledge his parents made when he was adopted. “My college fund came from my dad paying $50 for a Ford Falcon or some other beat-up car that didn’t run, working on it for a few weeks, and selling it for $250—and not telling the IRS.”
The Jobses’ house and the others in their neighborhood were built by the real estate developer Joseph Eichler, whose company spawned more than eleven thousand homes in various California subdivisions between 1950 and 1974. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision of simple modern homes for the American “everyman,” Eichler built inexpensive houses that featured floor-to-ceiling glass walls, open floor plans, exposed post-and-beam construction, concrete slab floors, and lots of sliding glass doors. “Eichler did a great thing,” Jobs said on one of our walks around the neighborhood. “His houses were smart and cheap and good. They brought clean design and simple taste to lower-income people. They had awesome little features, like radiant heating in the floors. You put carpet on them, and we had nice toasty floors when we were kids.”
Jobs said that his appreciation for Eichler homes instilled in him a passion for making nicely designed products for the mass market. “I love it when you can bring really great design and simple capability to something that doesn’t cost much,” he said as he pointed out the clean elegance of the houses. “It was the original vision for Apple. That’s what we tried to do with the first Mac. That’s what we did with the iPod.”
Across the street from the Jobs family lived a man who had become successful as a real estate agent. “He wasn’t that bright,” Jobs recalled, “but he seemed to be making a fortune. So my dad thought, ‘I can do that.’ He worked so hard, I remember. He took these night classes, passed the license test, and got into real estate. Then the bottom fell out of the market.” As a result, the family found itself financially strapped for a year or so while Steve was in elementary school. His mother took a job as a bookkeeper for Varian Associates, a company that made scientific instruments, and they took out a second mortgage. One day his fourth-grade teacher asked him, “What is it you don’t understand about the universe?” Jobs replied, “I don’t understand why all of a sudden my dad is so broke.” He was proud that his father never adopted a servile attitude or slick style that may have made him a better salesman. “You had to suck up to people to sell real estate, and he wasn’t good at that and it wasn’t in his nature. I admired him for that.” Paul Jobs went back to being a mechanic.
His father was calm and gentle, traits that his son later praised more than emulated. He was also resolute. Jobs described one example:
Nearby was an engineer who was working at Westinghouse. He was a single guy, beatnik type. He had a girlfriend. She would babysit me sometimes. Both my parents worked, so I would come here right after school for a couple of hours. He would get drunk and hit her a couple of times. She came over one night, scared out of her wits, and he came over drunk, and my dad stood him down—saying “She’s here, but you’re not coming in.” He stood right there. We like to think everything was idyllic in the 1950s, but this guy was one of those engineers who had messed-up lives.
What made the neighborhood different from the thousands of other spindly-tree subdivisions across America was that even the ne’er-do-wells tended to be engineers. “When we moved here, there were apricot and plum orchards on all of these corners,” Jobs recalled. “But it was beginning to boom because of military investment.” He soaked up the history of the valley and developed a yearning to play his own role. Edwin Land of Polaroid later told him about being asked by Eisenhower to help build the U-2 spy plane cameras to see how real the Soviet threat was. The film was dropped in canisters and returned to the NASA Ames Research Center in Sunnyvale, not far from where Jobs lived. “The first computer terminal I ever saw was when my dad brought me to the Ames Center,” he said. “I fell totally in love with it.”
Other defense contractors sprouted nearby during the 1950s. The Lockheed Missiles and Space Division, which built submarine-launched ballistic missiles, was founded in 1956 next to the NASA Center; by the time Jobs moved to the area four years later, it employed twenty thousand people. A few hundred yards away, Westinghouse built facilities that produced tubes and electrical transformers for the missile systems. “You had all these military companies on the cutting edge,” he recalled. “It was mysterious and high-tech and made living here very exciting.”
In the wake of the defense industries there arose a booming economy based on technology. Its roots stretched back to 1938, when David Packard and his new wife moved into a house in Palo Alto that had a shed where his friend Bill Hewlett was soon ensconced. The house had a garage—an appendage that would prove both useful and iconic in the valley—in which they tinkered around until they had their first product, an audio oscillator. By the 1950s, Hewlett-Packard was a fast-growing company making technical instruments.
Fortunately there was a place nearby for entrepreneurs who had outgrown their garages. In a move that would help transform the area into the cradle of the tech revolution, Stanford University’s dean of engineering, Frederick Terman, created a seven-hundred-acre industrial park on university land for private companies that could commercialize the ideas of his students. Its first tenant was Varian Associates, where Clara Jobs worked. “Terman came up with this great idea that did more than anything to cause the tech industry to grow up here,” Jobs said. By the time Jobs was ten, HP had nine thousand employees and was the blue-chip company where every engineer seeking financial stability wanted to work.
The most important technology for the region’s growth was, of course, the semiconductor. William Shockley, who had been one of the inventors of the transistor at Bell Labs in New Jersey, moved out to Mountain View and, in 1956, started a company to build transistors using silicon rather than the more expensive germanium that was then commonly used. But Shockley became increasingly erratic and abandoned his silicon transistor project, which led eight of his engineers—most notably Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore—to break away to form Fairchild Semiconductor. That company grew to twelve thousand employees, but it fragmented in 1968, when Noyce lost a power struggle to become CEO. He took Gordon Moore and founded a company that they called Integrated Electronics Corporation, which they soon smartly abbreviated to Intel. Their third employee was Andrew Grove, who later would grow the company by shifting its focus from memory chips to microprocessors. Within a few years there would be more than fifty companies in the area making semiconductors.
The exponential growth of this industry was correlated with the phenomenon famously discovered by Moore, who in 1965 drew a graph of the speed of integrated circuits, based on the number of transistors that could be placed on a chip, and showed that it doubled about every two years, a trajectory that could be expected to continue. This was reaffirmed in 1971, when Intel was able to etch a complete central processing unit onto one chip, the Intel 4004, which was dubbed a “microprocessor.” Moore’s Law has held generally true to this day, and its reliable projection of performance to price allowed two generations of young entrepreneurs, including Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, to create cost projections for their forward-leaning products.
The chip industry gave the region a new name when Don Hoefler, a columnist for the weekly trade paper Electronic News, began a series in January 1971 entitled “Silicon Valley USA.” The forty-mile Santa Clara Valley, which stretches from South San Francisco through Palo Alto to San Jose, has as its commercial backbone El Camino Real, the royal road that once connected California’s twenty-one mission churches and is now a bustling avenue that connects companies and startups accounting for a third of the venture capital investment in the United States each year. “Growing up, I got inspired by the history of the place,” Jobs said. “That made me want to be a part of it.”
Like most kids, he became infused with the passions of the grown-ups around him. “Most of the dads in the neighborhood did really neat stuff, like photovoltaics and batteries and radar,” Jobs recalled. “I grew up in awe of that stuff and asking people about it.” The most important of these neighbors, Larry Lang, lived seven doors away. “He was my model of what an HP engineer was supposed to be: a big ham radio operator, hard-core electronics guy,” Jobs recalled. “He would bring me stuff to play with.” As we walked up to Lang’s old house, Jobs pointed to the driveway. “He took a carbon microphone and a battery and a speaker, and he put it on this driveway. He had me talk into the carbon mike and it amplified out of the speaker.” Jobs had been taught by his father that microphones always required an electronic amplifier. “So I raced home, and I told my dad that he was wrong.”
“No, it needs an amplifier,” his father assured him. When Steve protested otherwise, his father said he was crazy. “It can’t work without an amplifier. There’s some trick.”
“I kept saying no to my dad, telling him he had to see it, and finally he actually walked down with me and saw it. And he said, ‘Well I’ll be a bat out of hell.’”
Jobs recalled the incident vividly because it was his first realization that his father did not know everything. Then a more disconcerting discovery began to dawn on him: He was smarter than his parents. He had always admired his father’s competence and savvy. “He was not an educated man, but I had always thought he was pretty damn smart. He didn’t read much, but he could do a lot. Almost everything mechanical, he could figure it out.” Yet the carbon microphone incident, Jobs said, began a jarring process of realizing that he was in fact more clever and quick than his parents. “It was a very big moment that’s burned into my mind. When I realized that I was smarter than my parents, I felt tremendous shame for having thought that. I will never forget that moment.” This discovery, he later told friends, along with the fact that he was adopted, made him feel apart—detached and separate—from both his family and the world.
Another layer of awareness occurred soon after. Not only did he discover that he was brighter than his parents, but he discovered that they knew this. Paul and Clara Jobs were loving parents, and they were willing to adapt their lives to suit a son who was very smart—and also willful. They would go to great lengths to accommodate him. And soon Steve discovered this fact as well. “Both my parents got me. They felt a lot of responsibility once they sensed that I was special. They found ways to keep feeding me stuff and putting me in better schools. They were willing to defer to my needs.”
So he grew up not only with a sense of having once been abandoned, but also with a sense that he was special. In his own mind, that was more important in the formation of his personality.
Even before Jobs started elementary school, his mother had taught him how to read. This, however, led to some problems once he got to school. “I was kind of bored for the first few years