Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Stanford Report, June 14, 2005
‘You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says
This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, 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 have 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 someday go to college.
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. 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 interesting.
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:
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. 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.
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, its 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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 I’m fine now.
This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope its 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:
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.
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 notions.
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.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.

find your answers.

What Do I Really Want Out Of Life?

By Harry Palmer in Happiness on June 10th, 2007 / No Comments
“What do I really want out of life?” is the bonus question for the discouragedly successful. It waits in the darkness for its cue-a moment of self-honesty-and then it slips through the curtains of consciousness and steals the show. It comes up on the day the new car loses its shine or the applause loses its meaning or the ashram loses its glitter. It stalks the early morning hours of fitful sleepers. What do I really want out of life?
Have you ever desired something-an object, or recognition, or a special relationship-and discovered that the pleasure of actually having it was disappointing? This is a special kind of disappointment. You’re not disappointed by failing to obtain your desire; you’re disappointed with the prize.
Most people console themselves by setting the goal a little higher. They say to themselves, “It wasn’t a Porsche I really wanted. What I really wanted was a Lamborghini.” “It wasn’t a million dollars, it was ten million dollars.” “It wasn’t a fifty foot yacht; it was a hundred foot yacht.” This leads to the twisted wisdom: How much would it take to make me happy?
The answer, a little more.
A little more-it’s a sedative answer. It lulls the disappointment back to sleep and reaffirms the old guilt that one isn’t striving hard enough or isn’t living up to one’s potential. A crazed society offers solace, “Try harder. You’ll do better next time.”
This plants the seed of anxiety in your mind, and “next time” is a reminder that time is running out. The pressure is on. You need to get it and get it soon. But what? Not this, not that. Maybe power. Maybe if you were president of your own company…
Can you sense the panic? Work harder. Get your statistics up. Stay motivated. Imitate the affluent. Get passionate. Remain focused; learn to ignore distractions. Study marketing. Create demand. Destroy the competition; business is business. One night you wake up to ring-ring. It’s not the phone. It’s your self-honesty bell. Is this really what I want out of life?
You need an answer and you need it right now. Where do you turn?
“I feel your pain,” offers some new-age guru who sells you the advice: total renunciation, give it all up, want nothing. Trust. So you wrestle the mind to stillness. You surrender. Love everyone. You suffer ego-death. BE HERE NOW. The pain goes away, but so does your common sense. While you are trusting serenely, you are robbed, your dog is poisoned and your house is burned. While you are loving everyone, your spouse files for a divorce.
Ah, but you understand, it must be your karma-a test of your faith. Uh-huh, stupid man talking. You achieve spiritual wisdom-for who? How long can you play solitaire? How long can you rationalize the suffering of humanity? So you spread the word, this is how it is, honor your guru, save the world, anxiety, anxiety, anxiety. The honesty bell rings again. Is this really what I want out of life?
The idea that life is about acquiring possessions leads to disappointment. Real satisfaction (despite TV commercials) cannot be acquired by achievements or possessions. The idea that life is about surrendering your desires leads to disappointment. Real satisfaction (despite your guru’s righteous insistence) cannot be acquired by embracing a doctrine of renunciation.
Test them, only if you must.
Achievement pulls you one way; surrender pulls you the other. Your heart and mind divide. Conflict. So you compromise.
The word for this compromise is unhappy. The prognosis is a deepening mental depression terminating in socially adjusted unawareness. No kidding, you go crazy. Advertising and holy books medicate your contradiction with false promises until…ring-ring. (It’s for you.)
Avatar is not anti-achievement nor anti-spiritual nor anti-compromise, but it does dispel the illusions that any of these is a path to real satisfaction.
The path to achieving real satisfaction in life is an honest, heads-up exploration of your beingness and the beliefs from which your doubts and answers arise. Who are you being and what do you believe?
The prize-and it is simple and singular-is waking up to who you really are and learning to live deliberately. When you know, the answer is, there is no question.
Fully alive, fully awake, this is what I really want out of life. That’s Avatar. If it’s not number one on your wish list, …ring, ring. Avatar Doesn’t Offer You Answers, It Offers You The Tools To Find Your Answers.

a lil bit of religion.

Our choices have consequences. What we do brings results. If we swing a hammer onto our finger, we will understand this principle immediately. The consequence is pain and damage to our finger.
This principle holds true in our life. To some degree, we get out of life what we put into it. If we treat others badly, we should not be surprised if they treat us the same. So, we have a certain amount of control over what life gives us.
There are two separate lists found in the Biblical book of Galatians. They are found in chapter 5 starting in verse 19 and going through verse 23.
The first list is called “the deeds of the flesh.” It includes strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, envying, and those sorts of things. If you have experienced any of these things, you know they are not fun orenjoyable. They are more in the realm of pain and anguish. Are these the sorts of things you want in your life?
The second list is called “the fruit of the Spirit.” It includes things like love, joy, peace, kindness… If you have experienced any of these, even for a short period of time, you know that they are more in the realm of fulfillment and satisfaction. Are these the sorts of things you want in your life?
Either of these can be a part of your life. It is your choice. If you follow your own desires, doing whatever you want to, you will experience the deeds of the flesh. Your life will not get better. It willcontinue on a path of addiction and destruction until these things kill you or until you decide to kill yourself because of the hopelessness.
Or you can choose to follow God’s way and allow Him to produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life. You can grow to love. You can become patient and caring. You can be gentle and self-controlled. Your heart can be filled with peace and joy. The choice is yours. God has given you free will to make that choice. He offers all that is needed to follow Him. If you have noticed, it is fruit that He brings into our life. It is a blessing from Him.
One more thing: There is more than this life. After this life, these two choices come into play. If we decide to follow ourselves in this life and reject God, He allows us to do that. He lets that stand for all eternity. We will exist in a hopeless, painful existence. Or, if we decide to follow Jesus in this life and reject our own way, God allows and helps us in that. And He lets that stand for all eternity. We will exist in a loving, fulfilling, and wonderful life. The choice is yours.
Our choices have consequences. Make your choices carefully.