Levenslessen van Steve Jobs

Zoals je inmiddels wel zal weten is Steve Jobs overleden. Woorden kunnen niet uitdrukken hoe hij gemist zal worden, hoeveel hij zal worden herinnerd, en hoe ingrijpend hij de wereld heeft veranderd. Hij is slechts 56 jaar geworden, maar wat een inspirerende man.

Steve Jobs heeft eens gezegd: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been”. Een mooie quote.

We kunnen niet allemaal een Steve Jobs zijn maar we kunnen wel van hem leren!

Hieronder zijn inspirerende speech waar je weer van kunt leren. Nu klinkt “I’ll be dead soon” raar, maar je komt weer even met beide benen op de grond.

Ik heb nog de engelse tekst gevonden en deze onder de video gezet voor degene die liever lezen dan kijken.


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, 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



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



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



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

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:


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.


Misschien vind je dit ook leuk:

  • Wat een geweldige speech, toch.

    Inspiratie met vele mooie, waardevolle adviezen.

    “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.”


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    Download Gratis 17 Tips Van Jezelf Houden

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