Pain and suffering breed success

“Greatness is not intelligence. Greatness comes from character. Character is not formed by smart people, it is formed by people who have suffered,” Huang said at the event, in response to a question about how students can maximize their chances of achieving goals. Being successful.

When it comes to achieving success, Huang knows better than most. In 1993, he co-founded the computer chip company Nvidia, where he served as CEO for more than three decades. The company's success turned Huang into a billionaire. Now, with demand for Nvidia's chips to build artificial intelligence software soaring, it has become one of the most valuable companies in the world, worth $2 trillion.

Huang himself is one of the richest individuals in the world, with an estimated net worth of $77.6 billionaccording to Bloomberg.

For Hwang, there is one particular trait that can make someone more likely to succeed: resilience. At an event last week, he told Stanford students how he personally developed the resilience needed to build and run one of the world's most valuable companies.

“People who have very high expectations have very low resilience.”

“One of my great advantages is that I have very low expectations,” Huang said, noting that most Stanford graduates “have very high expectations” as a result of receiving an elite education.

“Often, people with very high expectations have very low resilience because they are not accustomed to or prepared for failure,” he continued.

“Unfortunately, flexibility is important to success,” he said. “I don't know how to teach it to you except that I hope it will happen to you.”

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Building resilience is a key factor in determining future success, psychologists agree. Research has shown this Resilient people are more likely to have the strength and confidence to deal with challenges And coming back from failure.

Huang certainly struggled in the early days of his company. In 1996, Nvidia nearly went out of business because it was struggling to compete with other chip makers. This forced Huang to lay off more than half of his employees.

This experience taught him “to become more familiar with reading markets and consumer demands.” Fortune said in 2001Which meant scrapping the company's previous technology and betting on a new model of chips that eventually achieved great success.

“To this day I use the phrase ‘pain and suffering’ within our company with great pleasure,” Huang told the Stanford students. “I mean that in a happy way, because you want to improve the character of your company. You want to achieve greatness from it.”

Build a “tolerance for failure” so you can innovate and succeed

Having low expectations can help prepare you for the inevitable challenges ahead, according to Huang, because it's easy to be caught off guard by an obstacle when you're just expecting smooth sailing. That's why Huang says he's still concerned that Nvidia may ultimately fail, despite the company's enormous success.

He believes that any good leader should constantly think about how close the company is to collapse: “If you don't internalize that feeling, you will go out of business.” he said in October.

Likewise, being aware of the possibility of failure can help build a “tolerance for failure” that ultimately allows you to let go of the fear of failure that may be holding you back from success, Huang said in his article. A previous speech to Stanford University studentsin 2011.

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“Unless you have a tolerance for failure, you will never experiment, and if you never experiment, you will never innovate,” he said at the time. “If you don't innovate, you won't succeed.”

With that in mind, Huang told a new group of undergraduates last week that he hopes they will experience their own struggles in building character: “To all Stanford students, I wish you heavy doses of pain and suffering.”

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