Apple Inc. and Pixar founder Steve Jobs delivered remarks on his life and the lessons he has learned to the Stanford graduating class of 2005 as the commencement speaker. In his speech, Jobs told graduates to take risks, live life as you wish and live it doing the important things you love.
Jobs took the graduates on a journey through his far from standard life. Teaching them the lessons that he had to slowly learn over time.
Adopted at birth, Jobs’ birth parents ensured that he would have a path to college, a path which he tried and quickly diverted from.
After taking a chance and dropping out of Reed College in Portland, Oregon, Jobs would drop in to classes that interested him. Calligraphy was one of the skills he picked up from this.
Jobs used this point to show graduates that there are some things in life that will seem pointless until suddenly much later on there is a purpose. As this calligraphy interest let him be the first to put various fonts into a computer.
“You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future,” Jobs said.
Despite founding Apple, Jobs was fired from his own company by John Sculley in 1985. Presenting Jobs with one of the greatest challenges of his life.
He felt as if he had let down entrepreneurs of the past like Bob Noyce, founder of Intel Corp. and David Packard of HP Inc.
He knew one thing though, he still loved what he did. He encouraged graduates to do what they love and not settle until they find it.
“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,” Jobs said.
With the “lightness of being a beginner again,” Jobs came across some of the greatest ideas and success of his life, not to mention he fell in love with his life at this time.
While away from Apple, Jobs founded Pixar and created NeXT, the company which actually brought him back to Apple thanks to his new technology.
Jobs went on to talk of the importance of following your heart and doing what is important because death is ever approaching.
Last year Jobs was diagnosed with cancer but thanks to surgery on the rare form of cancer he survived. Now he lives as if death is coming and today is his last.
“Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” Jobs said.
Jobs referenced the back of the final issue of The Whole Earth Catalog, a publication he called a bible of his generation. The back of the issue read “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
Jobs closed his remarks with this quote as a message to the graduates to maintain their young energy and continue to take risks because you never know where they may lead you or when they will come in handy.