Oct 25 2016

Jobs: Personal life lessons to help graduates

Published by at 5:13 pm under Uncategorized

“I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation,” announced Steve Jobs.

The former college drop-out turned technology tycoon and billionaire, Steve Jobs, attended Stanford University’s graduation ceremony yesterday, Sunday, June 12.

The founder of Apple Computer, Inc. and Pixar, delivered the commencement speech.

The 50-year-old addressed the 2005 graduates with excitement as he discussed how his life has taken him to where his is now. Jobs stated the importance of following one’s dreams, finding what one is passionate about and how time is limited.

During his commencement speech, Jobs laid out his three personal philosophies as lessons that anyone could follow.

Connecting the dots

Jobs was only six months into his college schooling at Reed College in Portland when he decided to drop out. This was a big issue with his birth mother, she made his attendance to college a requirement for his adoption.

Jobs was not sure what he wanted to do with life and felt college would not help in figuring it out. Jobs did not want to waste his parents’ life savings.

“So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out okay,” said Jobs.

For the recent drop-out, it was “scary,” but Jobs claims it was the best decision he could have made.

Jobs was not completely dropped out of school. He stopped taking the required classes and took those of interest to him, including calligraphy. This course explored the different types of fonts and spacing between letters.

Thought to be useless, the class was able to help differentiate Jobs’ first computer, the Macintosh, from others during the time. This was the first computer with typography and Jobs pointed out how others, such as Windows, copied the operating system.

“Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backward ten years later,” Jobs said.

“So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Love and Loss

Jobs was publically dismissed from his job at Apple in 1985 by John Sculley, an executive Jobs himself had recruited and hired. Jobs questioned how he could be fired from a company he started.

Jobs took his mistakes to heart and believed he let his mentors, David Packard and Bob Noyce, down.

“I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley,” said Jobs. “But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did.”

Over the course of five years, Jobs founded NeXT, Inc. and Pixar Animation Studios; he also met his future wife, Laurene Powell. His new companies flourished; Pixar created the “world’s first computer animated feature film, ‘Toy Story.’”

Apple eventually came to the conclusion that they needed Jobs, and they purchased NeXT, which required his return.

“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,” said Jobs.


In the final philosophy lesson, Jobs shared a quote about living each day as if it were you’re last, because it one day, it will be. The quote stuck with him and he followed the mantra for the past 33 years.

The thought of facing death has helped him make all the tough decisions in life.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose” said Jobs. “You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

In 2004, Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Jobs was told that it was incurable and should expect to live no longer than three to six months. After a biopsy, results revealed the tumor was a very rare form of pancreatic cancer “that is curable with surgery.”

This was the closest that Jobs has ever faced death and states in his speech his desire to live longer.

“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,” said Jobs.

This generation, this graduating class is the new.

Jobs reiterated the importance making use of your life because time is limited.

Wrapping up his speech, Jobs mentioned one of his favorite publications, “The Whole Earth Catalog.” When the catalog had its final issue, the back cover had a photo “of an early morning country road.”

“Beneath it were the words: ‘Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.’ It was their farewell message as they signed off,” said Jobs.

“And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.”

Jobs’ commencement speech was met with great applause and cheers. His speech was inspiring, emotional, and simple.

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