虚心若愚 ,澳门黄冠娱乐备用网址阅读原文 –

前言

唯恐99%的爱侣听过Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish那句话,其中90%的人通晓Jobs说过那句话,但很可能仅有10%的人完全看过Jobs在二零零五年加州伯克利分校高校结束学业典礼上的演讲视频。即使视频唯有15分钟时长,但里边3个小故事放在今天依然值得深思。感谢@阮一峰不断更新译文,同时也意在擅长字幕的同窗在忙于重新制作一份高清双字幕摄像,让越来越多的朋友询问完整的始末,重拾经典。

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish


When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole
Earth Catalog, which was one of the “bibles” of my generation. It was
created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park,
and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late
60s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all
made with typewriters, scissors, and Polaroid cameras. It was sort of
like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along. It was
idealistic, overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

原版视频

但愿字幕组的情人帮支持,需求重新剪辑和中国和英国字幕查对,我会提供超清视频原始素材,先在此谢过啊。

<script type=”text/javascript”> var letvcloud_player_conf =
{“uu”:”v03kdsemua”,”vu”:”3f4896da40″,”auto_play”:0,”gpcflag”:1,”width”:640,”height”:360};</script><script
type=”text/javascript”
src=”http://yuntv.letv.com/bcloud.js"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;

And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started?
Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to
run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well.
But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we
had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him.
And so at 30, I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus
of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

澳门黄冠娱乐备用网址 1

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other
people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out
your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow
your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want
to become. Everything else is secondary.

创新记录

二〇一五年0六月26日 – 转发初稿,感谢@阮一峰,整合Youtube
Stanford官方原版超清视频

翻阅原文 –
http://wsgzao.github.io/post/stay-hungry-stay-foolish/

增加阅读


Thank you. 
I’m honored to be with you today for your commencement from one of the
finest universities in the world. Truth be told, I never graduated from
college, and this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college
graduation. Today, I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s
it. No big deal. Just three stories.

中国和英国译文

译者:阮一峰
(时间:2005年6月12日)

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the
finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth
be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation.
Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big
deal. Just three stories.
明天,我很光荣和豪门在同步,参与那些世界上最好的高校之一的毕业典礼。我从不曾大学结业。说实话,那是从这之后我最相近大学结束学业的一天。前些天自己要向你们讲我人生中的多个故事。不是怎么着大事,只是八个小故事而已。

The first story is about connecting the dots.
先是个故事讲的是,把生命中的点连接起来。.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed
around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So
why did I drop out?
本人在Reed大学读了3个月将来就退学了,不过又在校园里旁听了十半年左右,然后才真正离开。我怎么要退学呢?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed
college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She
felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so
everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his
wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that
they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list,
got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected
baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother
later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that
my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the
final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my
parents promised that I would someday go to college.
那要从自己出生前讲起,我的生母是一个未婚怀孕的后生博士,她决定把肚子里的我送给别人抚养。她明确希望收养我的家园富有大学学历,所以在我还没出生的时候,一切都早已配备好了,一个辩护律师和他的爱人收养我。可是殊不知的是,在自身来到人世的那一刻,他们突然反悔了,决定只收养女孩。由此,在认领名单上排在前面的自己的养爹娘,半夜接收电话:”大家有一个不在布置之中的男孩,你们想要他吧?”他们应对:”当然。”我的生母后来意识,我的干妈没有学院毕业,我的养父并未高中结束学业。她不肯签署最后的收养协议。多少个月后,我的养爹娘承诺送我上高校,她才允许签字协议。

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college
that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class
parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six
months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to
do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it
out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their
entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work
out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of
the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop
taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping
in on the ones that looked interesting.
十七年后,我实在上大学了。可是,我很幼稚地拔取了一所大概与德克萨斯奥斯汀分校大学一如既往贵的学堂。我的养爹娘都是蓝领阶层,他们的装有积蓄都用来付我的学习费用。读了7个月之后,我看不到那样做的价值。我不了然自己的人生应该怎么,也不掌握大学怎么帮自己找到答案。而且,若是我在高等学校里待下去,就会花光我的二老所有毕生的积蓄。所以,我就控制退学了,相信如此行得通。那多少个时候,我确实担心害怕,不过回过头来看,那是自己的特级决定之一。一旦我退学了,就能不上那多少个自己不要兴趣的必修课,可以起来旁听那么些自己有趣味的课了。

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the
floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to
buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday
night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved
it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and
intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one
example:
那件事也有困难的单向。我并未宿舍了,就睡在朋友家的地板上。退回可乐瓶可以得到5美分,我把它们积累起来换东西吃。每个星期二夜晚,我步行7公里穿过城市,到教会吃一顿免费的丰赡晚餐。但是,我依旧愿意。跟着自己的好奇心和直觉走,我误打误撞碰着的大队人马事物,日后都被认证是无价之宝。我给你们举一个例证。

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy
instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every
label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had
dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to
take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif
and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between
different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great.
It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science
can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
当场,Reed大学设置可能是全国最好的书法课。高校里的每一张海报、每个抽屉上的每张标签,都是天生丽质的手写体。因为退学后并非上那么些健康课程,我说了算去上书法课,学习如何写出赏心悦目的字。在那边,我学到了衬线字体和无衬线字体,学到了改动差别字母组合之间的距离,学到了版面设计怎么样才能赏心悦目。它是那样的美、富有历史感、艺术的精美,科学不可以捕捉到这个,我意识它太迷人了。

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life.
But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh
computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac.
It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never
dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never
had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows
just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have
them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this
calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful
typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots
looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear
looking backwards ten years later.
那几个事物,没有一件看上去对自身的人生有实在的价值。但是十年后,当我们统筹首先台Macintosh电脑的时候,它们都帮到我了。咱们把它们都设计进了出品。那是第一台有着美观操作界面的电脑。如若本身从不在大学里旁听那门课,Mac电脑就不会有二种字形,或者按比例间隔的书体。因为后来Windows操作系统抄袭了Mac,那么很可能有所民用电脑都未曾它们。如果本身一贯不退学,我就不会旁听书法课,那么个人电脑可能就不会有它们现在的那么可以的界面了。当然,我还在高等高校里展望人生的时候,不容许把这一个点都关系起来。然而十年后回头看,它们中间的沟通真的是卓殊越发通晓。

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect
them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow
connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut,
destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and
it has made all the difference in my life.
再说三遍,你展望人生的时候,不容许把这几个点连起来;唯有当您想起人生的时候,才能窥见它们中间的关系。所以您无法不有信念,相信那一个点总会以某种方式,对你的前程发出震慑。你不可能不相信一些政工—-你的胆气、命局、人生、缘分等等。那样做没有令我失望,反而决定了自身人生中具有尤其之处。

My second story is about love and loss.
我的第三个故事,是有关爱和损失的。

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I
started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in
10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2
billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our
finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just
turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company
you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very
talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things
went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and
eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors
sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been
the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
自我很幸运,在人生很早的时候,就找到了喜爱的事体。我和沃兹尼亚克在自身父母的车库里创立苹果公司的时候,我只有20岁。大家辛劳工作,十年后苹果集团从一个车库里的五人小集团,成长为当先4000个雇员的20亿新币大商厦。在那之明年,大家正好发布了最完善的成品—-Macintosh电脑,我也才刚过30岁。可是接下去,我就被解雇了。你怎么可能被一家自己成立的铺面辞退呢?事情是如此的,随着公司的迈入,大家雇来了一位我眼中的天分,与自身一块儿管制公司。第一年,一切还算顺遂。不过那将来,大家对公司提升的意见出现了争辨,最后造成了崩溃。最终,董事会站在了她的另一方面。所以,30岁的那一年,我被解聘了,而且是在鲜明之下。我整整成年人生的生活重点,离我远去,真是毁灭性的打击。

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let
the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the
baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob
Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very
public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley.
But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did.
The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been
rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over
初期多少个月,我的确不理解干什么。我觉得自己太令人失望,上一世集团家交给我的接力棒,已经被自己掉了。我与
戴维 Packard和鲍勃Noyce会师,试着道歉我把作业搞得这么糟。我的破产被来势猛烈揭露,我仍旧想交往硅谷逃走。不过,逐渐地,有一件事物让自己看到了曙光—-我照旧热衷我做的业务。苹果公司暴发的标题,丝毫未曾改动这或多或少。我的确被推翻了,可是自己如故热爱这几个事业。所以,我主宰从头初始。

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple
was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of
being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner
again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most
creative periods of my life.
自我当下从未有过意识到,可是之后证实,被苹果解雇是自己一生中经历的最好的政工。成功者的负责,重新被初学者的翩翩取代,对任何事情都不是很有把握。它解放了自己,让自己重新进入又一个人生最富有创建力的时日。

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another
company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would
become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer
animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful
animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple
bought NeXT, I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT
is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a
wonderful family together.
接下去的五年,我创制了一家名叫NeXT的商家,以及一家名叫Pixar的公司,与一个大好的女性坠入爱河,然后结为夫妇。Pixar生产出世界上首先部总计机动画电影《玩具故事》,近年来是满世界最成功的动画电影工作室。通过一七种事件的奇异转变,苹果集团收购了NeXT,我又回到了苹果集团。大家在NeXT开发的技术,现在是苹果集团复业的要害。我还和Lauren妮组建了一个美好的家中。

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired
from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient
needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose
faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I
loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true
for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a
large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do
what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to
love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t
settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the
years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
我很肯定,借使我不被苹果公司解雇,这一切都不会暴发。即便那些事件的味道像药物一样苦不堪言,不过本人想伤者须要服用它。有时,生活会对您一头一击,那时不要丧失信心。我坚信,唯一让自己保持提高的引力,就是自我心爱和谐做的事务。你不可能不找到您喜爱的事物。无论对于民众,依旧对于情侣,都是如此。你的工作是您人生的很大一部分,真正令你感觉知足的唯一形式,就是去做你内心中的伟大工作。做成伟大工作的唯一办法,就是热衷你自己做的事体。假诺您还一向不找到那样的政工,这就继续搜寻,不要息争。就如与心灵有关的其他业务一样,当你找到的时候,你自己会分晓的。并且与富有伟大的真情实意一样,时间越久,它的气象会变得更为好。所以,不停地找,直到找到停止,不要和解。

My third story is about death.
自己的第多少个故事是关于与世长辞的。

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live
each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be
right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33
years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If
today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about
to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in
a row, I know I need to change something.
十七岁的时候,我读到一句话,大意是那般的:”假使您把每天都作为生命的末尾一天,那么以后您最可能过上科学的生存。”它给自家留给了很深的影像,过去33年来,我每一天中午望着镜子问自己:”要是前几日是人生的最终一天,我会不会甘愿去做今日将要做的作业?”无论曾几何时,倘使总是众多天,答案都是NO,我就了然需求作出改变了。

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever
encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost
everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of
embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of
death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are
going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you
have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to
follow your heart.
记住自己不久就将死去,那是本身发觉的最根本的工具,支持自己做出人生中的重大决定。因为大概所有事情—-他人的希望,内心的骄傲,对于破产或出丑的诚惶诚惧—-所有那几个事情在病逝面前,都会没有,只留下那多少个实在主要的业务。记住你将要死,那是自我所知晓最好法子,免于刻骨铭心您也许会错过某件东西。你曾经赤身裸体了,没有理由不跟随你的内心。

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in
the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even
know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly
a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no
longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get
my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means
to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10
years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure
everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for
your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
大体一年前,我被确诊得了癌症。早上7点半,我做了五遍全身扫描,它精晓地显示本人的胰脏上有一个肉瘤。我当下依然都不知道胰脏是什么。医务人员告知我,已经可以肯定,那是一种无法治疗的癌症,我的人命估量不超越3到四个月。医务人员指出我回家把业务布置好,那是先生对于”将要过逝”的表明形式。它表示,你要试着把你原以为将来10年才对男女们说的政工,放着多少个月里告知她们。它代表,你要确定把原件工作都布署好,使得对于你的家属来说,一切变得硬着头皮的简练。它代表,你要和全方位告别。

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy,
where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and
into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells
from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that
when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying
because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that
is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.
一整天,我随时不想着那多少个诊断。当天夜间,我做了一个活检,医务卫生人员将内窥镜塞进自家的咽喉,穿过胃,进入肠子,又用一根针刺进胰脏,从肿瘤上取得部分细胞。我很镇静,不过本人的老婆(她也列席)告诉自己,领先生从显微镜观望那多少个细胞时,他们初始发生奇怪,因为她们发现那是一种尤其不可多得的肝脓肿,能够透过手术康复。我做了手术,现在觉得很好。

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope its the
closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now
say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful
but purely intellectual concept:
那是自己最相仿驾鹤归西的天天,我愿意今后几十年都是如此。有了如此的经历,对自身来说,离世就不仅仅是一种纯粹智力上的卓有成效概念,我可以更确定地告诉你们:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to
die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one
has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very
likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It
clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you,
but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and
be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
从没人想死,甚至那一个渴望升入天堂的人也不想死。然则,谢世是我们所有人都不可避免的人生巅峰。没有人得以避开。事情恐怕理所当然就应有如此,因为身故很可能是生存中最好的单项发明。它是让生活改变的一种手段。它清理旧的一代,为新的时期创立空间。现在你们是新人,可是在并不太遥远的某一天,你们将逐年成为旧的一代,被清理出去。很对不起,我不想说得那般戏剧化,可是事实就是那般。

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other
people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out
your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow
your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want
to become. Everything else is secondary.
你们的小时有限,所以不用把它浪费在过其余人的生活。不要被教条束缚,那是其余人思考的结果。不要让其余人的视角淹没你自己心中的动静。最关键的是,你要有勇气跟随你的心迹和直觉。某种程度上,它们已经驾驭你实在想要成为如何体统。其余具有业务都是协助的。

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole
Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was
created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park,
and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late
1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all
made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of
like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was
idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
本人青春的时候,有一本奇妙的出版物,叫做《地球商品目录》(The Whole Earth
Catalog),那是我们那一代人的圣经之一。它是由一个号称Stewart
Brand的人,在离开那里不远的Menlo公园成立的。他诗一般地将它带到了人世。那是六十年代末期,个人电脑和桌面出版还尚无出版,它是由打字机、剪刀和一遍成像照相机做成的。它有点像纸质的谷歌(Google),可是是在谷歌诞生35年以前。它满载了理想主义,包涵了很多灵活的工具和远大的想法。

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog,
and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was
the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final
issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you
might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath
it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell
message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always
wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish
that for you.
Stewart
和她的团队发行了几期《地球商品目录》,然后他们任其自流地生产了末了一期。那是70年间中叶,我跟你们现在同等大。最终一期的封底,有一幅深夜农村公路的照片,若是您喜欢冒险,那就是你也许会搭便车旅行的那种道路。在它下边有一行字:”保持饥饿,保持愚拙”。我一连期望自己可以做到那或多或少。现在,你们将要结业,起先新的旅程,我也那样地祝福你们。

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
保持饥饿,保持鸠拙。

Thank you all very much.
非常感谢各位。
(完)

末段修改时间: 2015-07-13 18:42:55

“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.”求知若饥,虚心若愚 

节奏下载:http://www.4english.cn/media/englishstudy/speechess/politics/audio/stevejobscommencement.mp3

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed
graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt
very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so
everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his
wife — except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute
that they really wanted a girl.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another
company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would
become my wife. Pixar went on to create the world’s first
computer-animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most
successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of
events, Apple bought NeXT, and I retuned to Apple, and the technology we
developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And
Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And
yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it.
And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single
best invention of Life. It’s Life’s change agent. It clears out the old
to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too
long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.
Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s quite true.

My third story is about death.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is
going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly
satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to
do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep
looking — and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll
know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it just gets
better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking — don’t
settle.

So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of
the night asking, “We’ve got an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?”
They said, “Of course.” My biological mother found out later that my
mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never
graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption
papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised
that I would go to college. This was the start in my life.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog,
and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was
the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final
issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you
might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath
it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell
message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I’ve always
wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish
that for you.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the
closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now
say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful
but purely intellectual concept: No one wants to die.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in
the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even
know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly
a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no
longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get
my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for “prepare to die.” It
means to try and tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the
next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure
everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for
your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live
each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be
right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33
years, I’ve looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If
today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about
to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in
a row, I know I need to change something.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy,
where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach into my
intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the
tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they
viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because
it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is
curable with surgery. I had the surgery and, thankfully, I’m fine now.

The first story is about connecting the dots. I dropped out of Reed
College after the first six months, but then stayed around as a drop-in
for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop
out?

2 June 2005, Palo Alto, CA

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life.
But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh
computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac.
It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never
dropped in on that single course in college, the “Mac” would have never
had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows
just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have
them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on that
calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful
typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots
looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear
looking backwards 10 years later.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college
that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class
parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six
months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to
do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it
out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their
entire life.

Thank you all
very much. 

My second story is about love and loss.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect
them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow
connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut,
destiny, life, karma, whatever — because believing that the dots will
connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart,
even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all
the difference.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz1 and I
started Apple in my parents’ garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and
in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a
two billion dollar company with over 4000 employees. We’d just released
our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just
turned 30.

So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out okay. It
was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best
decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the
required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the
ones that looked far more interesting.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired
from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient
needed it. Sometime life — Sometimes life going to hit you in the head
with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that
kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you
love.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple
was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of
being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner
again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most
creative periods of my life.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever
encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost
everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of
embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of
death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are
going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you
have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to
follow your heart.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the
floor in friends’ rooms. I returned coke bottles for the five cent
deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town
every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna
temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my
curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give
you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy
instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every
label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had
dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to
take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif
and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between
different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great.
It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science
can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let
the previous generation of entrepreneurs down — that I had dropped the
baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob
Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very
public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley.
But something slowly began to dawn on me: I still loved what I did. The
turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been
rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

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