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1 Start the YouTube video of Steve Jobs below.
 
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This program is brought to you by Stanford University please visit us at Stanford dot edu. Thank you thank you. I'm honored to be with you today for your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. The so 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. 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 eighteen months or so before I really quit. So why do why'd I drop out. 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 to a girl. 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 a die. Option 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. And seventeen 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 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 look far more interesting. 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 Hari 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 telegraphed 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 Serafin Sansar of serif and sans-serif type faces about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations about what makes a great time. 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 type polygraphy typography if I had never dropped in on that single course in college the mac would have never had multiple type faces are or proportionally spaced fonts and since Windows just copy 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 type 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 again you can't connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards so you have to trust that the DOTs 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. My second story is about love and loss. I was lucky I found what I love to do early in life was when Woz and I started Apple in my parents' garage when I was twenty we worked hard and in ten years Apple a grown from just the two of us in a garage into a two billion dollar company with over four thousand employees we just released our fine. finest Creation the Macintosh a year earlier and I just turned thirty. 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 revisions our visions of the future began to divert diverge and eventually we had a falling out when we did our board of directors sided with him and so at thirty I was out and very publicly out what had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone and it was devastating. 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 is not change had not changed that one bit I've I'd 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 during the next five years I started a company named Next another company named Pixar and fell in love with an amazing woman who had 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 returned to Apple and the technology we developed next is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance and Lorraine and I have a wall. Wonderful family together. 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's 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 and that is is true for 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. My third story is about death. When I was seventeen 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 thirty three years I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself if today were the last day of my life what 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. Remembering that all 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 the. 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 had a scan at seven thirty 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 ten years to tell them in just a few months it means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that will be as easy as possible for your family it means to say your goodbyes. I live 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 doctor 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 thank you thank. 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 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 its life 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. Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life don't be trapped by dog dogma which is living with the results of other people's thinking Don't let the noise of others opinions drowned 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. Thank you. 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 sixty's sixties 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 thirty five years before Google came along it was idealistic overflowing with need neat tools and great notions Stuart 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 one nine hundred seventy S. seventies 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 stay hungry stay foolish Thank you all very much thank you thank you.
The preceding program is copyrighted by Stanford University plays visit us at Stanford dot edu.

Time-stamped .srt version (no corrections):

Return to the simple text transcript
 

							1
00:00:07,51 --> 00:00:27,03
This program is brought to you by Stanford University please visit us at Stanford dot edu. Thank you thank you.

2
00:00:27,03 --> 00:00:33,56
I'm honored to be with you today for your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world.

3
00:00:33,56 --> 00:00:47,96
The so truth be told. I never graduated from college and this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation.

4
00:00:47,96 --> 00:00:55,82
Today I want to tell you three stories from my life that's it no big deal just three stories.

5
00:00:55,82 --> 00:01:00,86
The first story is about connecting the dots.

6
00:01:00,86 --> 00:01:06,58
I dropped out of college after the first six months but then stayed around as a drop in for another eighteen months

7
00:01:06,59 --> 00:01:15,2
or so before I really quit. So why do I drop out. It started before I was born.

8
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My biological mother was a young unwed graduate student and she decided to put me up for adoption.

9
00:01:22,23 --> 00:01:28,67
She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates so everything was all set for me to be adopted at

10
00:01:28,68 --> 00:01:31,7
birth by a lawyer and his wife.

11
00:01:31,7 --> 00:01:37,76
Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted to girl.

12
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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

13
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do you want him. They said of course.

14
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My biological mother found out later that my mother had never graduated from college

15
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and that my father had never graduated from high school she refused to sign the final a die. Option papers.

16
00:02:03,25 --> 00:02:13,78
She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would go to college this was the start in my life.

17
00:02:13,78 --> 00:02:22,37
And seventeen years later I did go to college but I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford.

18
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And all of my working class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition after six months I couldn't see the

19
00:02:29,34 --> 00:02:32,95
value in it I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life

20
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and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out

21
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and here I was spending all the money my parents had saved their entire life.

22
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So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK It was pretty scary at the time

23
00:02:49,07 --> 00:02:53,95
but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

24
00:02:53,95 --> 00:02:59,11
The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me

25
00:02:59,6 --> 00:03:04,62
and begin dropping in on the ones that look far more interesting.

26
00:03:04,62 --> 00:03:11,76
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

27
00:03:11,77 --> 00:03:13,89
the five cent deposits to buy food with

28
00:03:14,54 --> 00:03:21,99
and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hari Krishna temple.

29
00:03:21,99 --> 00:03:26,94
I loved it and much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity

30
00:03:26,95 --> 00:03:33,07
and intuition turned out to be priceless later on let me give you one example.

31
00:03:33,07 --> 00:03:39,92
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country throughout the campus every

32
00:03:39,93 --> 00:03:46,49
poster every label on every drawer was beautifully hand telegraphed because I had dropped out

33
00:03:46,59 --> 00:03:53,31
and didn't have to take the normal classes I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this I learned

34
00:03:53,32 --> 00:04:00,15
about Serafin Sansar of type faces about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations about what

35
00:04:00,16 --> 00:04:03,26
makes a great time. Great.

36
00:04:03,26 --> 00:04:11,89
It was beautiful historical artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture and I found it fascinating.

37
00:04:11,89 --> 00:04:17,33
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life.

38
00:04:17,33 --> 00:04:22,75
But ten years later when we were designing the first Macintosh computer it all came back to me

39
00:04:23,3 --> 00:04:30,65
and we designed it all into the mac it was the first computer with beautiful type polygraphy if I had never dropped in

40
00:04:30,66 --> 00:04:36,65
on that single course in college the mac would have never had multiple type faces are proportionally spaced fonts

41
00:04:37,17 --> 00:04:49,72
and since Windows just copy the mac it's likely that no personal computer would have them.

42
00:04:49,72 --> 00:04:53,82
If I had never dropped out I would have never dropped in on that calligraphy class

43
00:04:53,86 --> 00:05:00,58
and personal computers might not have the wonderful type that they do of course it was impossible to connect the dots

44
00:05:00,59 --> 00:05:02,32
looking forward when I was in college

45
00:05:02,78 --> 00:05:10,18
but it was very very clear looking backwards ten years later again you can't connect the dots looking forward you can

46
00:05:10,19 --> 00:05:16,83
only connect them looking backwards so you have to trust that the DOTs will somehow connect in your future you have to

47
00:05:16,84 --> 00:05:25,07
trust in something your gut destiny life karma whatever because believing that the dots will connect down the road will

48
00:05:25,08 --> 00:05:30,16
give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path

49
00:05:30,5 --> 00:05:43,72
and that will make all the difference. My second story is about love and loss.

50
00:05:43,72 --> 00:05:50,21
I was lucky I found what I love to do early in life was when I started Apple in my parents' garage

51
00:05:50,22 --> 00:05:52,53
when I was twenty we worked hard

52
00:05:52,64 --> 00:05:58,21
and in ten years Apple a grown from just the two of us in a garage into a two billion dollar company with over four

53
00:05:58,22 --> 00:06:06,02
thousand employees we just released our fine. Creation the Macintosh a year earlier and I just turned thirty.

54
00:06:06,02 --> 00:06:12,08
And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started.

55
00:06:12,08 --> 00:06:19,14
Well as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me and for the first year

56
00:06:19,15 --> 00:06:24,77
or so things went well but then revisions of the future began to divert and eventually we had a falling out

57
00:06:25,41 --> 00:06:30,41
when we did our board of directors sided with him and so at thirty I was out

58
00:06:30,96 --> 00:06:38,17
and very publicly out what had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone and it was devastating.

59
00:06:38,17 --> 00:06:43,99
I really didn't know what to do for a few months I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down

60
00:06:44,4 --> 00:06:50,04
that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce

61
00:06:50,51 --> 00:06:55,44
and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly I was a very public failure

62
00:06:55,45 --> 00:06:57,48
and I even thought about running away from the valley

63
00:06:58,15 --> 00:07:04,68
but something slowly began to dawn on me I still loved what I did.

64
00:07:04,68 --> 00:07:11,7
The turn of events at Apple is not change that one bit I've been rejected but I was still in love.

65
00:07:11,7 --> 00:07:14,52
And so I decided to start over.

66
00:07:14,52 --> 00:07:15,61
I didn't see it then

67
00:07:16,06 --> 00:07:21,38
but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me the heaviness of

68
00:07:21,39 --> 00:07:28,34
being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again less sure about everything it freed me to

69
00:07:28,35 --> 00:07:34,45
enter one of the most creative periods of my life during the next five years I started a company named Next another

70
00:07:34,46 --> 00:07:35,63
company named Pixar

71
00:07:35,89 --> 00:07:41,46
and fell in love with an amazing woman who had become my wife Pixar went on to create the world's first computer

72
00:07:41,47 --> 00:07:49,48
animated feature film Toy Story and is now the most successful animation studio in the world.

73
00:07:49,48 --> 00:07:54,41
In a remarkable turn of events Apple bought next and I return to Apple

74
00:07:54,8 --> 00:08:00,96
and the technology we developed next is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance and Lorraine and I have a wall.

75
00:08:00,99 --> 00:08:03,55
Wonderful family together.

76
00:08:03,55 --> 00:08:09,15
I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple it was awful tasting medicine

77
00:08:09,41 --> 00:08:16,43
but I guess the patient needed it sometime life sometimes life's going to hit you in the head with a brick Don't lose

78
00:08:16,44 --> 00:08:17,75
faith.

79
00:08:17,75 --> 00:08:23,8
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

80
00:08:24,04 --> 00:08:30,00
and that is is true for work as it is for your lovers your work is going to fill a large part of your life

81
00:08:30,15 --> 00:08:34,21
and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work

82
00:08:34,59 --> 00:08:40,95
and the only way to do great work is to love what you do if you haven't found it yet keep looking

83
00:08:41,39 --> 00:08:46,29
and don't settle as with all matters of the heart you'll know when you find it

84
00:08:46,84 --> 00:09:04,8
and like any great relationship it just gets better and better as the years roll on so keep looking Don't settle.

85
00:09:04,8 --> 00:09:12,71
My third story is about death. When I was seventeen I read a quote that went something like.

86
00:09:12,71 --> 00:09:20,37
If you live each day as if it was your last someday you'll most certainly be right.

87
00:09:20,37 --> 00:09:26,54
It made an impression on me and since then for the past thirty three years I have looked in the mirror every morning

88
00:09:26,55 --> 00:09:32,98
and asked myself if today were the last day of my life what I want to do what I am about to do today

89
00:09:33,78 --> 00:09:40,02
and whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row I know I need to change something.

90
00:09:40,02 --> 00:09:46,07
Remembering that all be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in

91
00:09:46,08 --> 00:09:53,32
life because almost everything all external expectations all pride all fear of embarrassment

92
00:09:53,33 --> 00:10:00,96
or failure these things just fall away in the face of death leaving only what is truly important remembering the.

93
00:10:00,99 --> 00:10:08,47
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

94
00:10:08,48 --> 00:10:17,5
naked there is no reason not to follow your heart. About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer.

95
00:10:17,5 --> 00:10:19,5
I had a scan at seven thirty in the morning

96
00:10:19,71 --> 00:10:27,84
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

97
00:10:27,85 --> 00:10:30,29
certainly a type of cancer that is incurable

98
00:10:30,64 --> 00:10:37,09
and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months my doctor advised me to go home

99
00:10:37,33 --> 00:10:46,98
and get my affairs in order which is doctor's code for prepare to die it means to try and tell your kids everything.

100
00:10:46,98 --> 00:10:52,75
You thought you'd have the next ten years to tell them in just a few months it means to make sure everything is

101
00:10:52,76 --> 00:11:00,85
buttoned up so that will be as easy as possible for your family it means to say your goodbyes.

102
00:11:00,85 --> 00:11:07,87
I live with that diagnosis all day later that evening I had a biopsy where they stuck an endoscope down my throat

103
00:11:08,2 --> 00:11:15,97
through my stomach into my intestines put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor I was sedated

104
00:11:16,1 --> 00:11:18,79
but my wife who was there told me that

105
00:11:18,8 --> 00:11:25,00
when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctor started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of

106
00:11:25,01 --> 00:11:40,21
pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery I had the surgery and thankfully I'm fine now thank you thank.

107
00:11:40,21 --> 00:11:42,57
This was the closest I've been to facing death

108
00:11:42,89 --> 00:11:49,51
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

109
00:11:49,52 --> 00:11:54,97
more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept.

110
00:11:54,97 --> 00:12:00,65
No one wants to die even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there.

111
00:12:01,67 --> 00:12:06,92
And yet death is the destination we all share no one has ever escaped it

112
00:12:07,57 --> 00:12:16,13
and that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life its life change agent it

113
00:12:16,14 --> 00:12:19,16
clears out the old to make way for the new.

114
00:12:19,16 --> 00:12:25,53
Right now the new is you but someday not too long from now you will gradually become the old

115
00:12:25,78 --> 00:12:31,88
and be cleared away sorry to be so dramatic but it's quite true.

116
00:12:31,88 --> 00:12:39,9
Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life don't be trapped by dog which is living with the

117
00:12:39,91 --> 00:12:46,06
results of other people's thinking Don't let the noise of others opinions drowned out your own inner voice

118
00:12:46,58 --> 00:12:49,57
and most important have the courage to follow your heart

119
00:12:49,58 --> 00:13:08,91
and intuition They somehow already know what you truly want to become everything else is secondary. Thank you.

120
00:13:08,91 --> 00:13:16,19
When I was young there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog which was one of the bibles of my

121
00:13:16,2 --> 00:13:21,83
generation it was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park

122
00:13:22,36 --> 00:13:28,11
and he brought it to life with his poetic touch this was in the late sixty's before personal computers

123
00:13:28,12 --> 00:13:32,22
and desktop publishing so it was all made with typewriters scissors

124
00:13:32,23 --> 00:13:39,5
and Polaroid cameras it was sort of like Google in paperback form thirty five years before Google came along it was

125
00:13:39,51 --> 00:13:45,04
idealistic overflowing with need tools and great notions Stuart

126
00:13:45,05 --> 00:13:48,99
and his team put out several issues of the Whole Earth Catalog and then

127
00:13:49,09 --> 00:13:57,73
when it had run its course they put out a final issue it was the mid one nine hundred seventy S. and I was your age.

128
00:13:57,73 --> 00:14:00,96
On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph.

129
00:14:01,22 --> 00:14:08,71
Of an early morning country road the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous beneath it

130
00:14:08,9 --> 00:14:18,74
were the words stay hungry stay foolish it was their farewell message as they signed off stay hungry stay foolish

131
00:14:19,36 --> 00:14:21,94
and I have always wished that for myself

132
00:14:22,85 --> 00:14:43,99
and now as you graduate to begin anew I wish that for you stay hungry stay foolish Thank you all very much thank you

133
00:14:44,03 --> 00:15:03,03
thank you. The preceding program is copyrighted by Stanford University plays visit us at Stanford dot edu.
						

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