Steve Jobs Commencement Speech on Personal Development

My fellow readers, I’m sure a lot of you are college students or graduates. Either way, I think it is safe to assume that we all have gone to friends’ or relatives’ commencement ceremony. I think it is also safe that there is one element of the ceremony, that we are ever so fond of, or perhaps dread it the most.. that’s right, THAT is the commencement speech.

Over the years, I have gone to many ceremonies, and needless to say, some maybe somewhat inspirational, some maybe fill with mundane phrases such as “you will be the pillars of the society tomorrow, etc.” and some are just utterly boring and filled with jibberish.

However, there is one exceptional commencement speech that I would like to share with everyone some interesting highlights from it, by Steven Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005 at Stanford University.

  • I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK.He made a decision, committed to it, and BELIEVED that it will be okay. Sometimes we just do not know where life is leading us, but a decision has to be made. After making the decision, trusting that it will be okay may just the the key that “it will turn out okay”!
  • And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. – We have to learn to trust ourselves and our intuition. There has gotta be something right about doing the things that our gut tells us it feels right. Make sense? We may not have the beautiful typography we see on computer today if Steve Jobs had not done so!
  • The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. – This is a good synonym to keeping an open mind.
  • Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. – Again, trusting, having faith in your decision and yourself is important. Persistence is what takes us to success eventually.
  • You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. – Work and lover together essentially ARE a major part of our lives… how do we love life and live happily if we don’t love them? If you don’t listen to me, listen to Steve Jobs, “Keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
  • Here is the best piece of advice from the speech:

    “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 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 about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

    Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment 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 is the 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.

    He is right. If I know I’m going to die soon, I don’t have time to NOT do the things I want. If I ask myself the same question he did and I cannot answer with one thing that I would STILL do if I will die tomorrow for too many days, some changes are definitely needed.

  • 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. – Understanding your life is completely your own responsibility. Do not get bogged down or fear others and what they think. Do not live life based on others’ expectation.
  • Steve’s last words, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” Just as the description of my blog suggests, life is a journey, an endless journey. It only stops when we choose to stop. As the earth is ceaselessly spinning, the world is constantly changing, and therefore we will never know everything and are always foolishwe. Knowing that, “staying hungry and staying foolish” becomes the only path.

Click here for the full commencement address.

Let’s all thanks Steve for his words of wisdom.

Originally posted 2007-05-24 01:48:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2 Responses

  1. Meng says:

    There’s a video version, too (http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/videos/51.html). I remembered watching it two years ago. It’s a very good speech.

  2. rani says:

    nice speech

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