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Steve Jobs's Commencement Address (2005)

March 12, 2014
Steve Jobs's Commencement Address at Stanford University on June 12, 2005 focuses on three personal stories from the entrepreneur's life that touch upon larger themes. The overall tone is both humorously self-deprecating and seriously uplifting. Jobs admitted that he had never graduated from college, but through a series of setbacks that turned out to be the best things to happen to him at those moments, he stayed hungry and foolish enough to make each day worth living.
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commencement
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world.
relent
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.
naive
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.
stumble
And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.
subtle
It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.
proportional
If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.
karma
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.
diverge
But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out.
devastating
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.
entrepreneur
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.
remarkable
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.
encounter
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.
expectation
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.
pancreas
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.
destination
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.
gradual
Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.
dramatic
Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
dogma
Don't be trapped by dogma--which is living with the results of other people's thinking.
intuition
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
idealistic
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.

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Monday March 17th, 9:37 AM
Comment by: Jean Anne DU'PRATT (Gargenville France)
HUMILITY IN FLESH AND BLOOD

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