注：以下是已故苹果电脑的CEO 斯蒂夫. 乔布斯2005年10月20日在斯坦福大学毕业典礼上的演讲，读后令人不禁动容，其文并无华丽之色，也无英文演讲范例中惯用的排比。
退学是我这一生所作出的最正确的决定之一。我在里德大学待了6 个月就退学了，但之后仍作为旁听生混了18 个月后才最终离开。我为什么要退学呢？
故事要从我出生之前开始说起。我的生母是一名年轻的未婚妈妈，当时她还是一所大学的在读研究生，于是决定把我送给其他人收养。她坚持我应该被一对念过大学的夫妇收养，所以在我出生的时候，她已经为我被一个律师和他的太太收养做好了所有的准备。但在最后一刻，这对夫妇改了主意，决定收养一个女孩。候选名单上的另外一对夫妇，也就是我的养父母，在一天午夜接到了一通电话：“ 有一个不请自来的男婴，你们想收养吗？” 他们回答：“ 当然想。” 事后，我的生母才发现我的养母根本就没有从大学毕业，而我的养父甚至连高中都没有毕业，所以她拒绝签署最后的收养文件，直到几个月后，我的养父母保证会把我送到大学，她的态度才有所转变。
17 年之后，我真上了大学。但因为年幼无知，我选择了一所和斯坦福一样昂贵的大学，（笑声）我的父母都是工人阶级，他们倾其所有资助我的学业。在6 个月之后，我发现自己完全不知道这样念下去究竟有什么用。当时，我的人生漫无目标，也不知道大学对我能起到什么帮助，为了念书，还花光了父母毕生的积蓄，所以我决定退学。我相信车到山前必有路。当时作这个决定的时候非常害怕，但现在回头去看，这是我这一生所作出的最正确的决定之一。（笑声）从我退学那一刻起，我就再也不用去上那些我毫无兴趣的必修课了，我开始旁听那些看来比较有意思的科目。
这件事情做起来一点都不浪漫。因为没有自己的宿舍，我只能睡在朋友房间的地板上；可乐瓶的押金是5 分钱，我把瓶子还回去好用押金买吃的；在每个周日的晚上，我都会步行7 英里 穿越市区，到HareKrishna 教堂吃一顿大餐，我喜欢那儿的食物。
当时，我压根儿没想到这些知识会在我的生命中有什么实际运用价值；但是10 年之后，当我们设计第一款Macintosh 电脑的时候，这些东西全派上了用场。我把它们全部设计进了Mac ，这是第一台可以排出好看版式的电脑。如果当时我大学里没有旁听这门课程的话，Mac 就不会提供各种字体和等间距字体。自从Windows系统抄袭了Mac 以后，（鼓掌大笑）所有的个人电脑都有了这些东西。如果我没有退学，我就不会去书法班旁听，而今天的个人电脑大概也就不会有出色的版式功能。当然我在念大学的那会儿，不可能有先见之明，把那些生命中的点点滴滴都串起来；但10 年之后再回头看，生命的轨迹变得非常清楚。再强调一次，你不可能充满预见地将生命的点滴串联起来；只有在你回头看的时候，你才会发现这些点点滴滴之间的联系。所以，你要坚信，你现在所经历的将在你未来的生命中串联起来。你不得不相信某些东西，你的直觉、命运、生活、因缘际会…… 正是这种信仰让我不会失去希望，它让我的人生变得与众不同。
我是幸运的，在年轻的时候就知道了自己爱做什么。在我20 岁的时候，就和沃兹在我父母的车库里开创了苹果电脑公司。我们勤奋工作，只用了10 年的时间，苹果电脑就从车库里的两个小伙子扩展成拥有4000 名员工，价值达到20 亿美元的企业。而在此之前的一年，我们刚推出了我们最好的产品Macintosh 电脑，当时我刚过而立之年。然后，我就被炒了鱿鱼。一个人怎么可以被他所创立的公司解雇呢？（笑声）这么说吧，随着苹果的成长，我们请了一个原本以为很能干的家伙和我一起管理这家公司，在头一年左右，他干得还不错，但后来，我们对公司未来的前景出现了分歧，于是我们之间出现了矛盾。由于公司的董事会站在他那一边，所以在我30 岁的时候，就被踢出了局。我失去了一直贯穿在我整个成年生活的重心，打击是毁灭性的。
在头几个月，我真不知道要做些什么。我觉得我让企业界的前辈们失望了，我失去了传到我手上的指挥棒。我遇到了戴维. 帕卡德（普惠的创办人之一 ）和鲍勃. 诺伊斯（英特尔的创办人之一），我向他们道歉，因为我把事情搞砸了。我成了人人皆知的失败者，我甚至想过逃离硅谷。但曙光渐渐出现，我还是喜欢我做过的事情。在苹果电脑发生的一切丝毫没有改变我，一个比特都没有。虽然被抛弃了，但我的热忱不改。我决定重新开始。
我当时没有看出来，但事实证明，我被苹果开掉是我这一生所经历过的最棒的事情。成功的沉重被凤凰涅槃的轻盈所代替，每件事情都不再那么确定，我以自由之躯进入了我整个生命当中最有创意的时期。在接下来的5 年里，我开创了一家叫做NeXT 的公司，接着是一家名叫Pixar 的公司，并且结识了后来成为我妻子的曼妙女郎。Pixar 制作了世界上第一部全电脑动画电影《玩具总动员》，现在这家公司是世界上最成功的动画制作公司之一。（掌声）后来经历一系列的事件，苹果买下了NeXT ，于是我又回到了苹果，我们在NeXT 研发出的技术成为推动苹果复兴的核心动力。我和劳伦斯也拥有了美满的家庭。
在17 岁的时候，我读过一句格言，好像是：“ 如果你把每一天都当成你生命里的最后一天，你将在某一天发现原来一切皆在掌握之中。” （笑声）这句话从我读到之日起，就对我产生了深远的影响。在过去的33 年里，我每天早晨都对着镜子问自己：“ 如果今天是我生命中的末日，我还愿意做我今天本来应该做的事情吗？” 当一连好多天答案都否定的时候，我就知道做出改变的时候到了。
因为所有的事情——— 外界的期望、所有的尊荣、对尴尬和失败的惧怕——— 在面对死亡的时候，都将烟消云散，只留下真正重要的东西。在我所知道的各种方法中，提醒自己即将死去是避免掉入畏惧失去这个陷阱的最好办法。人赤条条地来，赤条条地走，没有理由不听从你内心的呼唤。
大约一年前，我被诊断出癌症。在早晨7 ：30 我做了一个检查，扫描结果清楚地显示我的胰脏出现了一个肿瘤。我当时甚至不知道胰脏究竟是什么。医生告诉我，几乎可以确定这是一种不治之症，顶多还能活3 至6 个月。大夫建议我回家，把诸事安排妥当，这是医生对临终病人的标准用语。这意味着你得把你今后10 年要对你的子女说的话用几个月的时间说完；这意味着你得把一切都安排妥当，尽可能减少你的家人在你身后的负担；这意味着向众人告别的时间到了。
在我年轻的时候，有一本非常棒的杂志叫《全球目录》（The Whole Earth Catalog），它被我们那一代人奉为圭臬。这本杂志的创办人是一个叫斯图尔特. 布兰德的家伙，他住在Menlo Park ，距离这儿不远。他把这本杂志办得充满诗意。那是在60 年代末期，个人电脑、桌面发排系统还没有出现，所以出版工具只有打字机、剪刀和宝丽来相机。这本杂志有点像印在纸上的Google ，但那是在Google 出现的35 年前；它充满了理想色彩，内容都是些非常好用的工具和了不起的见解。
斯图尔特和他的团队做了几期《全球目录》，快无疾而终的时候，他们出版了最后一期。那是在70 年代中期，我当时处在你们现在的年龄。在最后一期的封底有一张清晨乡间公路的照片，如果你喜欢搭车冒险旅行的话，经常会碰到的那种小路。在照片下面有一排字：物有所不足，智有所不明（Stay Hungry ，Stay Foolish. ）这是他们停刊的告别留言。物有所不足，智有所不明—— 我总是以此自省。现在，在你们毕业开始新生活的时候，我把这句话送给你们。
'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, 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.
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:
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.
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 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. 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.
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.
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. 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 until you find it. 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.
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.