Unidentified Man #1: I believe in adaptation.
Unidentified Woman: I believe in a silver lining.
Unidentified Child: I believe that being flexible keeps me going.
Unidentified Man #2: I believe every single person deserves to be acknowledged.
Unidentified Man #3: This I believe.
ALISON STEWART, host:
Today for our series, This I Believe, we hear from Randy Komisar from the San Francisco Bay Area. Komisar is a former CEO of software and gaming companies like Claris, Lucas Arts Entertainment, and Crystal Dynamics. Now, he works as a consultant, or some would call him a guru, in Silicon Valley. Here is our series curator, independent producer Jay Allison.
JAY ALLISON: When Randy Komisar is hired by companies to help solve their problems, he tries also to help them bridge the gap between financial success and making a positive impact on society. That's sometimes a hard message to hear for what he calls type-A young MBAs on the make like he was 20 years ago. Here's Randy Komisar with his essay for This I Believe.
RANDY KOMISAR: I believe in the transformative power of belief itself, that we express our true nature based not upon what we know, but what we believe in. The stronger my beliefs, the less there is of me to get in the way. The less there is of me, the more room there is for everything else in life.
I work closely with entrepreneurs to help guide them and their ideas. My earlier career was typical Type-A, an ambitious Harvard lawyer on the rise who moves to Silicon Valley during the go-go years to help start and run a succession of companies. It took plenty of ego to persevere, and I was up to the task. But something strange happened along the way. I tripped. I realized I was all head, no heart, all drive, no passion. I was on the fast track to who knows where, but I was increasingly unhappy.
So I parachuted out of a perfectly good company and started down a different path. I began by looking for where I had mislaid my passion. I studied with a Zen teacher and started an odyssey of self-discovery which continues today. And I reinvented my work around creativity. I love entrepreneurs and innovation, and I decided to piece together a new role, working with entrepreneurs to help them create the future. This, of course, was a challenge. I was used to the story being about me, but now, it was about them. I was most successful when I faded into the woodwork, and my proteges took the limelight.
This seemingly small nuance turned out to be the door that let in the whole world in. It was not just making room for the people I worked with. It was making room for everything, my family and friends, a dog's bark, a warm breeze, the crackle of lightning. Certain eastern philosophies interpret the world as a blend of Form and Emptiness. Form is the world we know through our five senses, the world of struggle and suffering. But Emptiness is not what it seems. To the senses it is a void, but when the senses retreat in confusion, Emptiness illuminates with compassion and insight.
In truth, we live in both worlds, and I believe that it is the ability, the willingness to bridge these worlds until they are one, to engage both mind and heart, that makes this life so precious. For the longest time, I was skeptical that seeing was believing. But now that I understand that the seeing is done with eyes closed and heart open, I am a true believer. And I take comfort that we are what we believe because it means I can change. I am not the person I was 20 years ago or last year or yesterday so long as I make plenty of room in my life for the rest of the world and allow my beliefs to evolve with my experience. For that, I am eternally grateful.
ALLISON: Randy Komisar with his essay for This I Believe. To keep himself focused on his belief, Komisar says he has been meditating every day for the last 13 years. We hope you might consider submitting your essay to our series, visit npr.org/thisibelieve to find out more and to sign up for our podcast. For This I Believe, I'm Jay Allison.
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