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Steve Jobs' Inspirational Speech Is Still One Of The Best Ever

Steve Jobs' Inspirational Speech Is Still One Of The Best Ever

He told students about finding their passions in life, learning to trust those passions and relishing the time they have on this planet...

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

Steve Jobs died a little more than six years ago and even though Apple and the world of technology carried on, the planet was incredibly sad to see such a visionary leave.

But it's clear his legacy lives on in every Apple product and his wise words haven't lost their effect.

While he had plenty of good motivational phrases, his commencement speech at the 2005 Stanford University Graduation is widely considered one of the most poignant and impressive.

Ironically, Jobs was speaking about how he 'didn't see the value in college' to a bunch of students who had just graduated. He wanted his story to serve as an inspiration to people to seek out their goals and dreams, but in a way that also aligned with their interests and passions.

Steve said: "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. 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.

While this does sound idealistic, Steve revealed that he was sleeping on friends' floors and was only able to pay for food after recycling enough Coke bottles. He recounted how he took a calligraphy course, which, at the time, he thought would have no use in the real world.

But he was pleasantly surprised to be using those skills years later when designing the first Macintosh.


"It was the first computer with beautiful typography," he told the students. "If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.

"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future."

That message linked with his second story of when he was kicked out of Apple at the tender age of 30. While getting fired is a pretty shitty experience, from a company you founded no less, Steve found the silver lining, as it allowed him to enter 'one of the most creative periods of my life'.

During his five-year hiatus from Apple, he started Pixar, that beloved animation company, famous for Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo.


"I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple," he said. "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."

He revealed that doctors only gave him three to six months to live after his cancer diagnosis in 2003, but thankfully, a biopsy revealed that he had a very rare form of the disease that was curable with surgery.


That near-death experience gave him this theory on life: "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.

"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."

What an inspiration.

Happy birthday Steve Jobs.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Inspirational, Technology, Community, Apple