时间:2018-03-20 编辑:1057 手机版


  I am 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.


  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 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. This was the start in my life.

  故事要从我的出生说起。我的亲生母亲是一名年轻未婚的大学毕业生。她决定让别人收养我,她十分想让大学毕业生收养我。所以在我出生前,她已经准备一切,让一位律师和他的妻子收养。但是她没有料到,在我出生后,律师夫妇突然决定要一个女孩。所以,我的养父养母(他们当时还在候选名单上)突然在半夜接到了一个电话:“我们有一个意外降生的男婴,你们想收养他吗?”他们回答说: “当然!” 但是我亲生母亲随后发现,我的养母从未上过大学,我的养父高中没毕业。于是她拒绝签订收养合同。但在几个月以后,因为我的养父养母答应她一定要让我上大学,她才心软同意了。

  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 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 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 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:

  这一点也不罗曼蒂克。没了宿舍,所以我要到朋友家睡地板;为了填饱肚子,我捡过值5美分的可乐罐;为了每周一顿的好一点的饭,每个星期天晚上,我穿街过巷,步行7英里到Hare Krishna教堂。我喜欢那里的饭菜。在好奇和直觉的引导下,我跌跌撞撞地遇到很多东西,这些后来被证明是无价瑰宝。我给你们举一个例子吧:

  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.

  那时候,里德学院的书法课程也许是全美最好的。学校里的每个海报,抽屉上的每个标签,上面全都是漂亮的书法。因为我退学了,没有了正常的课程,所以我决定去上/书法课,去学学怎样写出漂亮的字。我学到了san serif 和serif字体,我学会了怎么样在不同的字母组合之中变化间距,还有怎么样做最好的版式。那种美感、真实感和艺术感,是科学永远不能捕捉到的,(我发现)那实在是太迷人了。

  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.


  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 would made 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.

  我非常幸运,因为我在很早的时候就找到了我钟爱的东西。我在二十岁的时候,沃兹和我在父母的车库里面开创了苹果公司。我们努力工作,十年之后,苹果从只有两个的穷小子的车库公司,发展到了员工超过四千名、市值超过二十亿的大公司。在公司成立的第九年,我们刚刚发布了最好的产品——Macintosh。我也快要到而立之年了。后来,我被炒鱿鱼了。你怎么可能被你自己创立的公司炒了鱿鱼呢? 在苹果快速成长的时候,我们雇用了一个很有天分的家伙和我一起管理这个公司,在最初的几年风调雨顺。但是后来我们对公司未来的看法有了分歧,最终我们吵了起来。当吵的不可开交的时候,董事会站在了他的那一边。所以在三十岁的时候,我被炒鱿鱼了。公开地把我扫地出门了。曾经是我整个生命的中心已经不再有了,这让我不知所措。

  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,我真是不知道该做些什么。我觉得我很令上一代的企业家们很失望,因为我把他们交给我的接力棒弄丢了。我把事情搞砸了,我和(创办HP的)David Packard和(创办Intel的)Bob Noyce见面,并试图向他们道歉。在公众面前,我是个失败者,我甚至想过逃离硅谷。但我后来慢慢看到了曙光,我仍然喜爱我从事的一切。在苹果发生的风波,并没有丝毫改变这一点。虽然我被驱逐了,但是我仍然钟爱我所做的事情。所以我决定从头再来。

  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.

  在接下来的五年里,我创立了一个名叫NeXT的公司,还有一个叫Pixar的公司,还有和一位魅力女士相识并相爱,她后来成为我的妻子。Pixar 制作了全球第一部由电脑制作的动画电影——“玩具总动员”,Pixar现在也是全球上最成功的电脑制作工作室。在随后一系列运作中,苹果收购了NeXT,我重返苹果。我们在NeXT研发的技术是苹果重焕生机的关键。而且,我还和Laurence共同建立了一个幸福完美的家庭。

  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.


  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 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.

  在我年轻的时候,有一本振聋发聩的杂志叫做《全球目录》,它是我们那一代人的圣经之一。它是由一位叫Stewart Brand的家伙在离这里不远的门罗帕克主刊的,他神奇般地将这本书带到了这个世界。那是六十年代后期,也就是在个人电脑出现之前,这本书完全是用靠打字机、剪刀还有偏光相机做出来的。它有点像用软皮包装的Google,它比Google早三十五年出现,它是理想主义的,其中包含了许多灵巧的工具和伟大的见解。

  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.


  Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.


  Thank you all very much