These are excerpts of Steve Jobs’ commencement speech in Stanford back in 2008.
The first story is about connecting the dots.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.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.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.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Steve Jobs may not have the best beginning but he certainly turned things around. Me? I lived a quite normal life. I may have my own fair share of challenges, bits and pieces of drama here and there but with what he had to endure, I think mine could fare less. I think this speech struck me because if he was able to succeed, got himself a better life, I have no excuse to do the same. I am more fortunate to start with. I am endowed with education. I am loved by my parents.
We may have lost one brilliant mind of an entire generation but we have his entire memory, his learnings, his life lessons, the Mac, The Ipod, the Itouch, the Iphone and the Ipad to remember. Rest in peace Steve. Well done. Well-lived.