Microsoft to Startup: Another World

Today I want to share one of my favorite poems by the 13th century poet Rumi.  Looking back, I am amazed by how much my life has changed since I left Microsoft.  It’s easy to get stuck thinking that the world you are in is all there is.  But when you step outside the comfort zone, you won’t just find a completely new world – you will also find that the old world which consumed your whole being can be completely left behind.

Wean Yourself

Little by little, wean yourself.
This is the gist of what I have to say.

From an embryo, whose nourishment comes in the blood,
move to an infant drinking milk,
to a child on solid food,
to a searcher after wisdom,
to a hunter of more invisible game.

Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo.
You might say, “The world outside is vast and intricate.
There are wheatfields and mountain passes,
and orchards in bloom.

At night there are millions of galaxies, and in sunlight
the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding.”

You ask the embryo why he, or she, stays cooped up
in the dark with eyes closed.

Listen to the answer.

There is no “other world.”
I only know what I’ve experienced.
You must be hallucinating.

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