2005 Steve Jobs在史丹佛大學畢業典禮上的演講非常具有啟發性,文字簡明易懂,而內容因蘋果電腦公司的傳奇人物Steve Jobs個人現身說法,婉婉道來使其曲折人生更加貼近人心。 

本篇演講詞作為英文自學或上課教材都很適宜,學生也都很喜歡。Steve Jobs說話速度並不快,對照以下英文字稿當有助理解。學習英文兼啟發人生,有如一魚兩吃,不亦樂乎。 

Stanford Report, June 14, 2005

'You've got to find what you love'

This is the text of the Commencement address by SteveJobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencementfrom one of the finest universities in the world. Truth be told, I nevergraduated from college. This is the closest I've ever gotten to a collegegraduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. Nobig deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so beforeI really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother wasa young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up foradoption. 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 hiswife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that theyreally wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call inthe middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do youwant him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother laterfound out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my fatherhad never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoptionpapers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that Iwould someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naivelychose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of myworking-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. Aftersix months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to dowith my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. Andhere I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. SoI decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was prettyscary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I evermade. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes thatdidn'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, soI 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 everySunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I lovedit. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuitionturned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the bestcalligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster,every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I haddropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take acalligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san seriftypefaces, about varying the amount of space between different lettercombinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful,historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and Ifound it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practicalapplication in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the firstMacintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into theMac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had neverdropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never hadmultiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows justcopied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I hadnever dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, andpersonal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Ofcourse it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was incollege. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; youcan only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dotswill 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 hasmade 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 inlife. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We workedhard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage intoa $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finestcreation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then Igot fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Applegrew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company withme, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of thefuture began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, ourBoard 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 wasdevastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. Ifelt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I haddropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard andBob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very publicfailure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But somethingslowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events atApple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still inlove. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that gettingfired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Theheaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginneragain, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the mostcreative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company namedNeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman whowould become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computeranimated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animationstudio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, Ireturned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart ofApple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful familytogether. 

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if Ihadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess thepatient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't losefaith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I lovedwhat I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your workas 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 foundit yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'llknow when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets betterand better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don'tsettle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went somethinglike: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll mostcertainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for thepast 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 aboutto do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too manydays in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the mostimportant tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear ofembarrassment 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 isthe 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 ascan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. Ididn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almostcertainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to liveno longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get myaffairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try totell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell themin just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so thatit will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later thatevening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, throughmy stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a fewcells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me thatwhen they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started cryingbecause it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that iscurable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and Ihope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, Ican now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a usefulbut purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go toheaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we allshare. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Deathis very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. Itclears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, butsomeday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be clearedaway. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someoneelse's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results ofother people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out yourown inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart andintuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everythingelse is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publicationcalled 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 withtypewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google inpaperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, andoverflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of TheWhole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a finalissue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of theirfinal issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind youmight find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it werethe words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell messageas they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished thatfor myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

--

美國的許多大學十分崇尚企業家精神,會邀請產業重要的企業家在大學的畢業典禮上演講,企業家對即將畢業的優秀大學生所說的話,往往發人深省,2005年蘋果電腦創辦人賈伯斯在史丹福大學畢業典禮的演講,短短十五分鍾,賈伯斯只講了三個故事,卻足以讓人思考良久。 

賈伯斯在每年蘋果電腦的產品發表演講都是消費者與愛好者極度注目的盛事,過去台灣還有粉絲會在網路上現場翻譯給其他人看的創舉,台灣的蘋果電腦迷實在相當厲害,賈伯斯的的產品發表演講十分厲害,總是讓人對新產品十分驚艷,不過這場短短的史丹福大學畢業典禮的演講卻是講得十分謹慎,頻頻看稿,也許是被史丹福大學的崇高名聲所影響,十分看重,也很小心。 

第一個故事賈伯斯講到,一點到下一個點兩點之間如何相連起來,他說向前看,從一個點出發時,我們往往不知道怎麼到下一個點,但是回頭思考我們如何到現在這個點時,我們總是可以找到是之前的哪個點的經歷與努力,帶領你到現在這個點。 

我想他是要鼓舞年輕人,不論你現在做什麼,認真地去做好,勇敢向未知的前方衝去,你永遠不知道未來何時會用到它。賈伯斯說到當年他決定從大學休學之後,不再去選他沒興趣的必修課,而去上了一堂美術字體各課,十多年後,當他在設計蘋果電腦,才創造了美麗的各種真實字型,而由於PC都是抄蘋果電腦,如果他當年沒上這堂課,PC世界將沒有任何好看的字型。

 第二個故事賈伯斯講失去與熱愛,他用自己被自己所創辦的公司所趕出去的案例來說明人生中難免的挫折與失敗,這是多麼不可思議的事,他從沒想過自己會被自己所創辦的公司所開除。他一度想放棄了一切,深思最後又創立了Next電腦與Pixar公司,繼續自己熱愛的工作,也在這段時間中認識了生命中的愛情結了婚,回頭來看,如果不是那次失去工作的經驗,他的人生將會完全不同。 

我想他是要鼓舞年輕人,不論你遇到什麼挫折,不要放棄,別被挫折打倒,堅持下去。 

第三個故事賈伯斯講面對死亡,年輕時,他聽過一個有趣的說法,覺得很有智慧,如果你將每天都當作是人生的最後一天來活,總有一天你會對了。每天早上對著鏡子盥洗的時候,他都問自己,如果今天是我人生的最後一天,我會用這天去做我今天要去做的事情嗎?他說如果連續幾天他都回答自己不是時,他就知道自己應該做個改變了。 

我想他是要鼓舞年輕人,不要受到外在評分的影響,尋找自己心裡的聲音,不要去當別人想要你變成的人,而是追求自己內心的熱情,如果你很年輕就找的自己的熱情所在,那你很幸運,如果你還沒有找到,請你繼續尋找,不要輕易妥協,得過且過,這是你的人生。

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