Steve Jobs 2005 Commencement Speech

Steve Jobs told Stanford University’s 2012 graduates to “stay hungry, stay foolish” which meant taking risks even if the outcome is far from certain.

As he spoke, following one’s heart and falling in love was at the core of Jobs’ message. He told three major life stories that embodied those themes and communicated their importance and relevance to the graduates throughout the speech.

Steve Jobs had dropped out of college because he felt he was wasting his parents’ life savings all for him not to understand the purpose of why he was in college. Instead of taking pointless college requirements, he wanted to take classes that would suit his interests, even if he saw no practical application. 

At first, Steve saw no point in taking that class other than enjoyment, but it later became one of the best decisions of his life. A large part of the first Macintosh computer design process required utilizing his calligraphy skills that would have been extremely difficult if he refrained from taking that single college calligraphy class.

“Trust that the dots will connect in your future. Trust in something, your gut, destiny, life” and “believing that 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”, explained Jobs.

Jobs started Apple in his parents’ garage alongside Steve Wozniak, also known as “Woz”. He later converged his ideas with a former friend named John Sculley who’s visions began to differ from his, and the Apple board of directors sided with Sculley, so Jobs was fired.

Jobs explained how he wanted to run away as he felt he let his fellow entrepreneurs down, but what kept him going was doing what he loved. The series of events with Apple were inconsistent, but what stayed consistent was his passion. 

*He got fired and later rehired at Apple, started the animation studio Pixar, and developed technologies that helped Apple grow way beyond its beginnings as a computer manufacturer.

“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again”, explained Jobs. That right there led him to the most creative period in Jobs’ life: establishing Pixar and Next. 

Keeping his eye on the prize also led him to meeting the love of his life and eventually wife: Laurene Powell Jobs. These events inspired him to follow his heart as that was the one thing that got him to the destination of success. 

Jobs made a promise to himself that he would live every day like it was his last. He made sure that every day he would be satisfied with what he was doing if he knew he would die that day. That very soon became relevant when he was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. 

Steve Jobs had a very rare form of Pancreatic cancer that was able to be treated with surgery which allowed him to overcome his life expectancy of three to five months. Through his struggles, he was able to keep his head held high because through his ups and downs, his passion remained constant.

Staying hungry kept him eager to continue to learn which got him through tough times and pushed him to not just continue, but also advance in his pursuits. Staying foolish pushed him to take risks and adventure into new situations. 

Those situations caused him to grow and accelerate into success. He motivated the graduates of Stanford to do the same so they could be able to pave their own way to success one day.

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