Stanford Report, June 14, 2005
This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.
这是史蒂夫·乔布斯(Steve Paul Jobs, 19550224-20111005)——苹果电脑公司(注：因2007年发布了iPhone而改名为苹果公司，Apple Inc.)和皮克斯动画工作室(注：已于2006年被迪斯尼收购)首席执行官——2005年6月12日在史丹佛大学毕业典礼上的演讲文稿。
I am honored to be with you today at 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.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
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?
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 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 someday go to college. This was start in my life.
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.
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:
这一点也不浪漫。我没有宿舍，所以我睡在友人家里的地板上，靠着回收可乐空罐的五先令退费买吃的，每个星期天晚上得走七哩的路绕过大半个镇去印度教的 Hare Krishna 神庙吃顿好料。我喜欢 Hare Krishna 神庙的好料。追寻我的好奇与直觉，我所驻足的大部分事物，后来看来都成了无价之宝。举例来说：
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.
当时里德学院有着大概是全国最好的书法指导。在整个校园内的每一张海报上，每个抽屉的标签上，都是美丽的手写字。因为我休学了，可以不照正常选课程序来， 所以我跑去学书法。我学了 Serif 与 San Serif 字体，学到在不同字母组合间变更字间距，学到活版印刷伟大的地方。书法的美好、历史感与艺术感是科学所无法捕捉的，我觉得那很迷人。
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.
我没预期过学的这些东西能在我生活中起些什么实际作用，不过十年后，当我们在设计第一台麦金塔（Macintosh）电脑时，我想起了当时所学的东西，所以把这些东西都设计进了麦金塔（Mac）里，这是第一台能印刷出漂亮东西的计算机。如果我没沉溺于那样一门课里，麦金塔可能就不会有多重字体跟变间距字体了。如果不是因为 Windows 抄袭了麦金塔的使用方式，貌似个人计算机也就不会有这些东西。如果那时我没有退学，我就不会去上字体书法课，个人电脑也许就不会有现在这些漂亮的字体了。显然，我还在大学里时，不可能把这些点点滴滴预先串联起来，但是这在十年后回顾时，就非常非常清晰了。
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 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 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.
我很幸运——能在年轻时就发现自己爱做什么事。我二十岁时，跟 Steve Wozniak 在我爸妈的车库里开始了苹果计算机的事业。我们拼命工作，苹果计算机在十年间从一间车库里的两个小伙子扩展成了一家员工超过四千人、市价二 十亿 美金的公司，在那之前一年推出了我们最棒的作品－麦金塔，而我才刚迈入人生的第三十个年头，然后被炒鱿鱼。你怎么能被自己创办的公司炒自己的鱿鱼呢？好吧，事情是这样的。当苹果计算机成长后，我请了一个我以为他在经营公司上很有才干的家伙来，他在头几年也确实干得不错。可是我们对未来的愿景不同，最后只好分道扬镳，董事会站在他那边，炒了我鱿鱼，在众目睽睽之下地把我炒了。曾经是我整个成年生活重心的东西不见了，令我不知所措。
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.
有几个月，我实在不知道要干什么好。我觉得我令企业界的前辈们失望－我把他们交给我的接力棒弄丢了。我见了创办HP的David Packard跟创办Intel的Bob Noyce，跟他们说我很抱歉把事情搞砸得很厉害了。我成了公众的非常负面示范，我甚至想要离开硅谷。但是渐渐的，我发现，我还是喜爱着我做过的事情，在苹果的日子经历的事件没有丝毫改变我爱做的事。我被否定了，可是我还是爱做那些事情，所以我决定从头来过。
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 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 returned 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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
一年前，我被诊断出癌症。我在早上七点半作断层扫描，在胰脏清楚出现一个肿瘤，我连胰脏是什么都不知道。医生告诉我，那几乎可以确定是一种不治之症，我大 概活不到三到六个月了。医生建议我回家，好好跟亲人们聚一聚，这是医生对临终病人的标准建议。那代表你得试着在几个月内把你将来十年想跟小孩讲的话讲完。 那代表你得把每件事情搞定，家人才会尽量轻松。那代表你得跟人说再见了。
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.
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 in 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.
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.
在我年轻时，有本神奇的杂志叫做“全球概览（Whole Earth Catalog）”，是我们那一代人的“圣经”之一。那是一位住在离这不远的 Menlo Park 的 Stewart Brand 发行的，他把杂志办得很有诗意。那是 1960 年代末期，个人计算机跟桌上出版还没发明，所有内容都是打字机、剪刀跟拍立得相机做出来的。杂志内 容有点像印在纸上的 Google，在 Google 出现之前35年就有了：理想化，充满新奇工具与神奇的注记。
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 跟他的出版团队出了好几期“全球概览”，然后当它完成了它的进程，他们便出了停刊号。当时是1970年代中期，我正是你们现在这个年龄的时候。在停刊号的封底，有张早晨乡间小路的照片（注：参见下面两张图片，来自维基百科和网络），那种你去爬山时会经 过的乡间小路。在照片下有行小字：“保持饥饿，保持愚蠢（求知若饥，虚心若愚）”，那是他们亲笔写下的告别讯息。保持饥饿，保持愚蠢（求知若饥，虚心若愚）。我总是以此自许。当你们毕业，展开新生活，我也以此期许你们。
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.
- 關於對“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.”的理解（Jamie，林之晨），
- 《Stay hungry, Stay foolish 的原义》（阮一峰），
（2）20090417：迁移到个人 FENLLY CN 域名之子域名 planet（即
planet.fenlly.cn）空间（基于 WordPress 搭建）下，并对内容有所修改（注：此 FENLLY CN 域名现已于 20180417 弃用，故已无法访问）。
（3）20110724：迁移到新启用的个人网站 https://pingmin.me 下（基于 WordPress）。
（4）20170904：迁移到使用 GitHub Pages、Hexo 及其主题 NexT 的静态网站 https://pingmin.github.io ，以便于使用 Git 管理，同时绑定了个人独立域名 pingmin.me ，以自动跳转到 https://pingmin.me 。
（5）20190223：增加林之晨（Jamie）關於“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”的參考博文鏈接。
（6）20200713：迁移到新启用的个人独立博客 https://pingmin.blog 下（基于 GitHub Pages、Hexo 及其 NexT 主题） 。
（7）20200803：补充两张“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”的《全球概览》杂志封底图片，来自维基百科和阮一峰博客。
（9）20201101：增加阮一峰關於“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”的參考博文鏈接。