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I am honored to be with you today for your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. Truth be told,I never graduated from college,and this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.


The first story is about connecting the dots.



I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?


It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl.


So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We’ve got an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would go to college. This was the start of my life.


And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out.

在十七岁那年,我真的上了大学。但是我很愚蠢的选择了一个几乎和你们斯坦福大学一样贵的学校, 而我父母只是蓝领阶层,我的学费几乎要花光了他们所有积蓄。而六个月后, 我却看不到其中的价值所在。我不知道我想要在生命中做什么,我也不知道大学能怎么样帮助我找到答案。

And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked far more interesting.

但是在这里,我几乎花光了我父母这一辈子的所有积蓄。所以我决定要退学,并且相信一切会有办法的。我当时确实非常的害怕, 但是现在回头看看,那的确是我这一生中曾经做过的最棒的一个决定。在我退学的那一刻, 我终于可以不必去读那些令我提不起丝毫兴趣的课程了,然后我还可以去修那些看起来有点意思的课程。

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

但是事实并不是那么浪漫。我没有了宿舍住,所以我只能睡在朋友房间的地板上,我去捡可乐瓶子,以五分一个的价格卖掉,这样我就可以有点钱买吃的, 在每个星期天的晚上,我会走七英里的路程,到城市另一端的Hare Krishna寺庙(注:位于纽约Brooklyn下城),可以吃上每星期唯一一顿饱饭。我爱圣餐。我跟着我的直觉和好奇心走, 遇到了很多东西,此后被证明是无价之宝。我来举个例子吧:



Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this.

在那时,Reed大学提供全美最好的美术字课程。在这个大学里,每张海报, 每个抽屉的每个标签,全都是漂亮的手写美术字。因为我退学了, 不用去上那些常规的课程, 所以我决定去参加这个课程,去学学怎样写出漂亮的美术字。

I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

我学到了san serif 和serif字体, 我学会了怎么样在不同的字母组合之中改变空格的长度, 还有怎么样才能作出最棒的印刷式样。那是一种科学永远不能捕捉到的、美丽的、历史性的艺术精妙, 我发现那实在是太美妙了。



None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.


And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.


Again, 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. Because believing the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it lead you off the well-worn path and that will make all the difference.

再次说明下,你不可能将未来的片断串连起来;你只能在回顾的时候将点点滴滴串连起来。所以你必须相信这些片断会以某种方式在未来的某一天串连起来。你必须要相信某些东西:你的勇气、命运、生命、因缘,随便是什么。这种方法从来没有令我失望(let me down),只是让我的生命更加地与众不同。

My second story is about love and loss.


I was lucky – I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a 2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation - the Macintosh - a year earlier, and I had just turned 30.

我非常幸运, 因为我在很早的时候就找到了我爱做的事情。在我二十岁的时候,我和Woz就在我父母的车库里面创立了苹果公司。我们工作地很努力, 十年之后, 苹果就从我们两个人窝在车库里发展到了拥超过四千名的雇员、价值超过十亿美金的大公司。而在那之前一年,我们发布了我们最精美的产品,那就是Macintosh,而我也刚过了三十岁了。

And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

然后,我被炒了鱿鱼。你怎么可能被你自己创立的公司炒鱿鱼呢? 是这样地,在苹果快速成长的时候,我们雇用了一个我认为很有天分的家伙和我一起管理这个公司, 在第一年,公司运转得很好。但是后来我们对未来的愿景发生了分歧, 最终我们大吵一通。当我们争吵不可开交时, 董事会站在了他那边。所以在三十岁的时候, 我出局了。是一种非常公开地出局。我作为一个成人,生命中的焦点在我眼前消失了,这对我真的是毁灭性的。

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly.

在最初的几个月里,我真是不知道该做些什么。我感到我把从前的创业激情给丢了, 我把传到我手里的接力棒整到了地上。我和David Pack和Bob Boyce见面,并试图就如此悲惨地搞砸了向他们道歉。



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

在公众眼里,我非常地失败,我甚至想着从硅谷跑掉。但是有些事情开始慢慢地照亮我--我仍然喜爱我从事的事情。在苹果公司发生的转折没有改变它, 一点也没有。我被驱逐了,但是我仍然热爱它。所以我决定从头再来。

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

我当时没有意识到, 但是事后证明, 曾被苹果公司炒鱿鱼是我这辈子发生的最棒的事情。因为,作为一个成功者的沉重感觉被作为一个创业者的轻松感觉所代替: 对任何事情都不再那么自信。这让我觉得如此自由, 让我得以进入我生命中最有创造力的一个阶段。

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world.

在接下来的五年里, 我创立了一个名叫NeXT的公司, 还有一个叫Pixar的公司, 并和一位优雅的女士相爱,她后来成为我的妻子。Pixar 制作了世界上第一个用电脑制作的动画电影——“”玩具总动员”,Pixar现在也是世界上最成功的电脑制作工作室。

In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

在后来的一系列运转中,Apple收购了NeXT, 然后我回到了Apple公司。我们在NeXT发展的技术在Apple现在的复兴之中发挥了关键的作用。我和Laurence 一起建立了一个幸福的家庭。

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. 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.)

我可以非常肯定,如果我不被Apple开除, 这其中任何一件事情都不会发生。这件事本身是一味非常苦的药,但是我猜病人需要它。有些时候, 生活会拿起一块砖头猛拍向你的脑袋。不要失去信心。我很清楚唯一使我一直走下去的,就是我无比钟爱我做的事情。你得去找到你所爱的东西。

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.

对于工作是如此, 对于你的爱人亦然。你的工作将会占据生活中很大的一部分。让自己真正满意的唯一方式就是,只做那些你认为是杰出工作的事情。如果你还没有找到, 那么就继续找、不要停下来、全心全意的去找, 当你找到的时候你就会知道的。就像任何伟大的关系, 随着岁月的流逝只会越来越好。所以继续找,直到你找到它,不要停下来!

My third story is about death.


When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "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.

我十七岁时, 我读到了一段引述,大致如下:“如果你把每一天都当作生命中最后一天去生活,那么有一天,你会非常确定你是正确的。”这句话给我留下了深刻的印象。从那时开始,过了33年,我在每天早晨都会对着镜子问自己:“如果今天是我生命中的最后一天, 你会不会完成你今天将要做的事情呢?”当连续很多天答案都是“否”的时候, 我就知道自己需要改变一些事情了。

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.

“记住我即将死去”是我一生中遇到的最重要箴言,它帮我做出了生命中重要的选择。因为几乎所有的事情, 包括所有外部的期待,所有的荣耀,所有的尴尬或失败,这些在死亡面前都会消失。留下的只有真正重要的。你有时候会思考你将会失去某些东西,“记住你即将死去”是我知道的避免陷入这个思考迷局的最好方法。你已经赤身裸体了, 你没有理由不去追随本心。

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

大概一年前, 我被诊断得了癌症。我在早晨七点半做了一个扫描, 清楚地显示在我的胰腺长了一个肿瘤。我当时甚至都不知道胰腺是什么。医生告诉我那很可能是一种无法治愈的癌症, 我还有三到六个月的时间。我的医生建议我回家, 然后整理好我的一切, 那就是医生们“准备死亡”的代号。意味着你要把未来十年对你小孩说的话在几个月里面说完.;那意味着把每件事情都搞定, 让你的家人会尽可能轻松的生活;那意味着你要说“再见了”。

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and thankfully I'm fine now.

那张诊断书伴随了我一整天。那天晚上我作了一个活切片检查,医生将一个内窥镜从我的喉咙伸进去,通过我的胃, 然后进入我的肠子, 用一根针在我的胰腺上的肿瘤上取了几个细胞。我当时服了镇定剂,不过我的妻子在那里, 她后来告诉我,当医生在显微镜下观察这些细胞的时候他们开始尖叫, 因为这些细胞最后竟然是一种非常罕见的可以用手术治愈的胰腺癌症。我做了这个手术, 现在我痊愈了。

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

那是我最接近死亡的时候, 我希望这也是以后的几十年最接近的一次。死亡对我来说,曾经只是一个有用但是纯粹是知识上的概念,经历过这次的生死考验, 我现在可以更肯定一点地对你们说,

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.

没有人愿意死, 即使人们想上天堂, 人们也不会为了去那里而死。但是死亡是我们每个人共同的终点。从来没有人能够逃脱它。也应该如此。 因为死亡就是生命中最最好的发明。它是生命变更的媒介。它将旧的清除以便给新的让路。你们现在是新的, 但是从现在开始不久以后, 你们将会逐渐的变成旧的然后被清除。我很抱歉这很戏剧性, 但是这十分的真实。

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 other's 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.


When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notion。



当我还年轻的时候,有一个非常令人震惊的出版物,就是“完整地球目录”,是我们那一代人的宝典之一。这是由Stewart Brand创建的,他就待在离这里不远的Menlo 公园中。他用他诗人般的触感给这个期刊带来了生命。那是在60年代后期,还没有个人电脑和桌面印刷系统,所以完全时靠打字机、剪刀和拍立得相机做出来的。有点像是Google诞生35年前的Google的平装版,它充满了理想主义,洋溢着灵巧的工具和伟大的见解。

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stewart 和他团队做出了几期的《完整地球目录》,然后这本杂志就终结了,他们推出了最后一期。那是再20世纪70年代中期,我当时像你们这么大。在他们最后一期的封底,是一张早晨乡间公路的照片,就是那种有点冒险精神的人在搭便车的时候会看到的那样。在图下面是这句话:"求知若渴,虚怀若谷"。这是他们停止广播时的告别语。求知若渴,虚怀若谷。我也总是希望自己也能做到这些。现在,你们要毕业了,开始新的生活,我也对你们衷心期待。

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.


Thank you all very much.





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