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Monday, July 27, 2009

Commencement address to the graduates of Stanford University by Steve Jobs, June 12, 2005.

Steve Jobs delivering his commencement speech to the graduates of Stanford University in 2005. In it he talks about getting fired from Apple in 1985, life & death.

It is a truely inspirational speech:

He shown everyone that your destiny is in your very own hands!

* Follow your passions -- life is for the living. Real success comes with happiness and love.

* Take the road least traveled, and it may not be the hardest one sometimes -- you may find riches beyond your dreams and at the sametime enrich the lives of others around you and beyond.

* Happiness and fulfilment are abundant to anyone who thinks outside the box. Financial, emothional, spiritual & intellectual riches are yours if you are able to connect the dots. Everything that happens to you -- even the things that look rough at the time -- will serve and enrich you in many ways when you connect the dots of the past.

The fulltext of the speech was published on "Stanford Report, June 14, 2005"

'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says

The text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.

Here I quote what touches my heart:

** The first story is about connecting the dots.

* 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.

* And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.

* 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.
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.

* 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.

* 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.

** My second story is about love and loss.

* I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life.

* ... And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started?

* 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 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.

* I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

* 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.

* 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.

** My third story is about death.

* 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."

* 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.

* About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer... I didn't even know what a pancreas was.

* 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.

* I lived with that diagnosis all day... I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

* 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:
- 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.

* 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.

* ... The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation ...created by Stewart Brand ... 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.

* Stewart and his team ... put out a final issue... On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, ... 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.

* Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

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