Amazing, amazing speech of Apple - Steve Jobs to graduates Ctenforda in 2005 (the original - Eng.) h3> 5 October 2011, Steve Jobs died. To honor the memory of a great man, with whom we are lucky to live in one time.
"I am honored to be with you today at the presentation of diplomas of one of the best universities in the world. I did not graduate from institutions. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. And yet. Nothing grand. Just three stories ».
Steve Jobs, head of Apple.
The first story - about connecting the dots. h3> I threw of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a "guest" for another 18 months or so before I really quit. Why did I drop out?
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 insisted that I be adopted by college graduates, so I was destined to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. However, a minute before I was born, they decided they wanted a girl. So they called night and asked: "Suddenly the boy was born. Do you want it? ". They said: "No". My biological mother later found out that my mother - never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. And only a few months later he relented when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I went. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all my parents' savings were spent on tuition. After six months, I could not see the value in it. I did not know what I want to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that everything will be fine. I was scared at first, but looking back now, I understand that it was my best decision in my life. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that did not interest me, and visit the ones that looked interesting.
It was not all romantic. I did not 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 liked him. And a lot of that, what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.
Here's an example:
Reed College at that time offered the best calligraphy instruction. Throughout the campus every poster, every label were written beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and did not take the normal classes, I signed up for lessons in calligraphy. I learned about serif and sans serif, about 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 not capture, to understand.
None of this seemed to be useful for my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came in handy. And Mac 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 not. 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 ten years later it was very, very clear.
Again, you can not connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future. You'll have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma - whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it changed my life.
My second story - about love and loss. h3>
Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in the garage of Jobs' parents collected the first computers Apple (photo from fireinthevalley.com). 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 ten years, Apple had grown from two people in a garage into a $ 2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We 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 talented people to help me run the company in 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. The Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And publicly. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone.
I did not know what to do for 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 what he had done. It was a very public failure and I even thought about running away to hell. But something slowly began to dawn on me - I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that a bit. I had been rejected, but I loved. And in the end, I decided to start over.
Then I did not see it, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness beginner again, less sure about everything else. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
Over the next five years, I started a company NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar has created the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story em>, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of the current revival of Apple. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I had not been fired from Apple. The medicine was bitter, but the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Do not lose faith. I am convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved his job. You need to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for relationships. Your job is to fill a large part of his life and the only way to be truly satisfied - do what you think is a great thing. And the only way to do great things - to love what you're doing. If you have not found it yet, keep looking. Do not stop. As it happens with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better over the years. So keep looking until you find it. Do not stop.
My third story - about death. h3> When I was 17, I read a quote - something like this: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." Quote impressed me and since then, for 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, if I wanted to do what to do today?". And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon - the most important tool that helps 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. The memory of the death - the best way to avoid thinking about the fact that you have something to lose. You have no reason not to follow your heart.
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 did not even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me that this type of cancer is incurable, and that I 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 what would you say in the next 10 years. It means to make sure that everything is buttoned up so that your family can be had as easily. That is to say goodbye.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy - stuck an endoscope down your 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 doctors viewed the cells under a microscope, they began to shout, because I was very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and now with me all right.
Death then came to me the closest thing, and I hope the closest 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:
Nobody wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven do not want to die. And still, the death - the destination for all of us. No one has ever escaped it. So it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is - the reason for change. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Who is new - it is you, but once (not very long from now) - you become the old and be cleansed. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it's true.
Your time is limited, so do not waste it living someone else's life. Do not be trapped by dogma, which is living with the thoughts of other people. Do not 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 who you want to become really. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication of The Whole Earth Catalog em> («Whole Earth Catalog"), which was one of the bibles of my generation. She wrote a fellow named Stewart Brand, who lives not far from here in Menlo Park. It was in the late Sixties, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. Something like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google. It was idealistic, and overflowing big ideas.
Steward and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog em> and, finally published the final number. It was in the mid-70s, and I was your age. On the back cover was a picture of early morning country road, the kind where 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. 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.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all.
Video of the speech is available on Youtube, it is interesting to look at the English.